Storm phobia is traumatic for your pup as well as for you. Whether he pants, whines paces or chews, you are faced with a pet who can destroy your property and hurt himself. The phobia usually develops gradually and will increase during each storm. There are a number of ways to calm your pup, but the first step is to make sure his chewing is the result of a storm, not an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Determine if your pup has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Observe when he chews. Make note of what triggers his chewing and talk to your veterinarian before deciding his chewing is related to storms.
Bring your dog inside. If he is outside when a storm approaches, put him in an area where there is less chance of hearing the storm, such as the basement. Stay with him until the storm passes.
Provide comfort for your pup. Have a special blanket, a dog bed, crate or hiding place available to him.
Keep yourself calm. If your dog notices you are nervous, he will pick up on your anxiety. Go about doing your normal activities.
Redirect his attention. If he starts to chew on furniture or his body, give him a chew toy and steer him away from windows where he can hear the sounds.
Introduce tape recordings of storm sounds. Begin with the sound on low as you play with your dog. Give him a treat and continue to associate happy events while the sound plays. Continue to increase the sound over a period of days.
Don't pet your dog when he's upset. This reinforces unwanted behavior.
Talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication.
Items You Will Need
- Dog bed
- Dog crate
- Chew toy
- Storm recording
- Talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication.
- Don't pet your dog when he's upset. This reinforces unwanted behavior.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.