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Sending Relaxing Vibes Your Way: How To Calm A Dog In A Storm

Words by: WAG Team

Published on: September 28, 2022
Sending Relaxing Vibes Your Way: How To Calm A Dog In A Storm

Storms can be scary events for your dog, and the loud noises and unexpected flashes in the dark can be startling. It is relatively normal for dogs to feel some sort of fear or anxiety during a storm, so if you see them showing signs of anxiety, don't worry. Firstly, bring them inside your home and start thinking of ways you can soothe their nerves. 

If you have a rescue dog, you may need to be extra attentive to how they react to a thunderstorm. Sometimes due to a dog’s past, they may have previous trauma linked to loud noises or being left outside. If this is the case, make sure you have an action plan and a routine in place for these times, as your canine companion will need that little bit of extra love and attention. So, how to calm a dog in a storm? Here’s how. 

Why does my doggo get scared during a storm, and what can I do to help?

Just like us as human beings, dogs can have phobias of their own. Yours might be heights, theirs might be loud banging sounds. There are many aspects of a storm which may make your furry companion anxious, including:

The smell of the rain

Doggos have incredibly sensitive noses. They can smell the rain before it even comes. They can also sense the change in barometric pressure. So, if you see your doggo acting a little strange as the sky gets cloudy, there is a chance a storm is coming. 

To help your furry friend, try:

Unfortunately, thanks to their heightened sense of smell, there isnt much you can do in regards to your dog being rain-anxious. However, you can help distract them and keep them comfortable until the rain passes. It is always a good idea to keep your dog inside if you can if you know they are scared of the rain. Keep them cosy with a comfortable place to rest and lots of blankets.

A great distraction is a long lasting treat that will keep them occupied for hours. Our large pig ears are the perfect treat, they are high in protein and super lean. 

Dog Being Anxious for rain

The sound of thunder

If you are finding that your furry friend has the same reaction to thunder and storms as they do to fireworks or balloons popping, it might not be a fear of storms, but rather a fear of loud noises. This can be a trauma response or just one of your dog’s quirks. After all, loud bangs can be pretty damn scary!

To help your furry friend, try:

Turning on the TV to drown out the sound of thunder. You can also pop on some music, or some relaxing sounds designed especially for dogs via YouTube. 

If, on the other hand, it's loud noises in general that are the issue, try closing all windows and doors and hanging out with your furry friend in a smaller, sound-proof room, equipped with a comfy dog bed for your dog to curl up in. 

You may notice your dog tends to hide under the bed or sofa when they are anxious. This is just their way of sheltering themselves, as they may feel more calm in a dark enclosed space. If this is the case, let them be, they will emerge when they are feeling better!

Barometric pressure

Barometric pressure is a simple way of measuring air pressure in the atmosphere. Before a storm, the barometric pressure changes. Our furry friends have a special ability to sense changes in air pressure, and although they might not understand the full meaning of these changes, it can make them very unsettled. Hence why they might start acting up before the storm even starts. 

To help your furry friend, try:

As we discussed with the smell of the rain, there isn't much you can do here but support them through it. A long-lasting natural doggo treat, such as a bully stick can be the perfect distraction. With such incredible flavour, your doggo is bound to forget all about those pesky air pressure changes. 


The shock of it all

Surprisingly, the static shock that is created by the thunderstorm can affect your dog. The electricity gathered in the air can build up in the coat of your furry friend causing them to get little shocks to their noses if touched by anything metal. 

To help your furry friend, try:

For this one, we recommend the Thundershirt. This clever jacket covers your dog’s fur, therefore creating a barrier between it and the buildup of electricity in the air. The added benefit is that these jackets are great for generalised anxiety as well. They apply light pressure at all times, creating the same feeling as a weighted blanket. 

The storm itself

It is also likely that there is no one reason for your doggo’s fear of storms, it could be all of the above combined. If that's the case, you might need to combine some of the above mentioned techniques. As a dog-parent, you are best equipped to know what your canine companion really needs. 

doggo’s fear of storms

Other storm-fighting tips and tricks

If you are wondering how to calm a dog during a storm at night, there are a couple of strategies you can try. Firstly, allow your dog to sleep in your room, or even in your bed (if you are comfortable with that!). Your dog is far likely to feel safer and at ease when right next to you. You can also try popping them in a Thundershirt if you know there is going to be a particularly tumultuous storm that night. Keep their water bowl topped up, and most importantly, stay calm yourself. 

Severe anxiety and separation anxiety

Sometimes it is not the event itself, but rather your dog having anxiety in general. If you find your doggo showing signs of severe anxiety such as separation anxiety in life outside of thunderstorms, consider taking your furry friend to the vet. There might be more to the issue than just loud sounds and air pressure changes. 

Often in rescue dogs, there may be bigger anxiety-related issues that might need to be dealt with professionally. Your vet may recommend medication or therapy options and will be best informed to give you the right strategies to help manage your dog’s anxiety.

Final Thoughts

The storm will pass, as will your doggo’s anxiety, so have patience and wait it out with them. When dealing with any form of dog-anxiety make sure you are keeping their past, instincts and individual nature in mind. Try implementing some of our tips and tricks, and don’t forget to treat your dog to some delicious healthy dog treats for being so brave. You’ve both got this!