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By: Makeasa Rosemond
The sky starts to darken. Your dog begins to freak out. Dogs can sense storms before the first strike of lightning or clap of thunder, and may begin looking for a place to hide. Some dogs become so anxious during storms that they shake, drool excessively or become destructive in an attempt to escape. This is thunderstorm phobia.
If your dog experiences any of the symptoms above during a storm, visit your veterinarian to ensure there are no underlying medical conditions.
According to vets, some fear-related pet issues can be successfully resolved with desensitization. Desensitization is a positive-reinforcement method that starts by conditioning your pet to stay calm, when they hear thunderstorm sounds. Desensitizing audio programs can help introduce storm noises. Start at low levels and gradually increase the volume over time until your pet no longer shows signs of fear. Simple things like distracting your dog or creating a safe place during storms can also help them overcome their fear.
It’s important for you to appear calm and upbeat throughout a storm. The best course of action is to console your dog, focus on safety, create a distraction and project confidence that "everything's fine" for your pet.