Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder?

Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder?

Have you ever noticed your furry friend trembling and seeking refuge under the bed when a thunderstorm rolls in? If so, you're not alone. Many dogs experience fear and anxiety when they hear the booming sounds of thunder. In this article, we'll explore what thunder is to dogs, why it scares them, and what you can do to help your four-legged companion when a storm is brewing. 


What is Thunder for Dogs?

To humans, thunder is simply the sound created by the rapid expansion of air around a lightning strike. However, dogs perceive thunder differently due to their heightened senses. Dogs have exceptional hearing and can detect sounds at much lower frequencies than humans. Thunder, to them, isn't just a loud noise; it's a series of intense, low-frequency vibrations that shake their world.


What do Dogs Feel Whenever They Hear Thunder?

When dogs hear thunder, their heightened senses make it a truly overwhelming experience. They not only hear the loud noise, but they also feel the vibrations in the air and on the ground. These sensations can be disorienting and terrifying for them, causing extreme anxiety and fear.


Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder? 

Dogs might get scared of thunder for a few different reasons:

Loud and Unpredictable
  • Loud and Unpredictable -  Thunder is loud and unpredictable, and dogs thrive on routine and predictability. The sudden and unexpected nature of thunder can make them feel out of control and anxious.
Sensitivity to Vibrations
  • Sensitivity to Vibrations - As mentioned earlier, dogs can feel the vibrations caused by thunder. These vibrations can be disconcerting for them.
Associations with Past Trauma
  • Associations with Past Trauma - If a dog has had a negative experience during a thunderstorm, such as getting injured or being left alone, they may associate thunderstorms with fear and anxiety.
Instinctual Response
  • Instinctual Response - Some experts believe that dogs' fear of thunder may be rooted in their instinctual response to natural disasters. In the wild, severe weather events could threaten their survival, so fear of thunder and storms could be an adaptive behavior.

 

Salmon Oil calming effect

Now, here's where salmon oil can come into play. Some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon oil for dogs can have a calming effect on them. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the brain and improve overall brain function. So, incorporating salmon oil into your dog's diet might be one way to help them manage their anxiety during thunderstorms. It's essential to consult with your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your dog's diet.


What to Do If Your Dog is Hearing Thunder and Being Scared?

Create a Safe Space

Create a Safe Space

Prepare a cozy and secure area to which your dog can retreat during a storm. This could be a crate or a designated room with their favorite toys and blankets.

Stay Calm

Stay Calm

Dogs can pick up on your emotions, so staying calm and relaxed during a thunderstorm can help reassure your pet. Just try to act like everything is okay and fair.

White Noise

White Noise

Playing soothing white noise or music can help drown out the sound of thunder and provide a calming environment.

Behavioral Training

Behavioral Training

Consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who can help desensitize your dog to thunderstorms through gradual exposure and positive reinforcement.

Consult Your Vet

Consult Your Vet

If your dog's fear of thunder is severe, consult your veterinarian. They can guide medication or supplements, such as salmon oil, that may help reduce anxiety.


Conclusion

Thunderstorm anxiety in dogs is a common issue that can be distressing for pets and their owners. Understanding why dogs fear thunder and taking steps to help them cope can significantly affect their well-being. While salmon oil isn't a magic solution, it's worth exploring its potential benefits as part of a comprehensive strategy to alleviate your dog's anxiety during storms. Remember, a calm and patient approach can go a long way in comforting your furry friend during thunderstorms and helping them feel safe and secure.

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