Q&A: Why is my dog scared of thunderstorms and what can I do about it?

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Gordo, a Shepherd mix,  is available for adoption at Second Chance Dog Rescue in San Diego.

Dr. Lauren Brickman writes a pet health and care column for Petside.com. Read all the Q&As she’s shared with Petfinder here.

Q: Why is my dog so afraid of thunder and how can I make him less scared?

A: Many dogs are afraid of thunder simply because they do not understand what it is. Dogs hear this loud noise and perceive it as something threatening.

Some dogs try to go under tables, in bathtubs, or in any other places that make them feel secure. It is ok to allow them to do this.

It is important, however, not to try to soothe your pet too much. Doing so can actually encourage his fear if he senses any insecurity in your voice.


During a thunderstorm, try to provide a background noise for your dog, such as TV or radio. This may help to somewhat drown out the noise of
the thunder. You can also try to get your dog’s mind off the storm by playing with him.

There are some dogs that require sedation when there is a storm. Consult your veterinarian so that they can prescribe something to calm your pet during a storm.

If you have questions about your pet’s health, you can submit them to Dr. Lauren at drlauren@petside.com.

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