Astraphobia or thunder phobia – extreme fear of thunder and lightning. It’s not just children and adults who can suffer from the fear of thunder and lightning. The phobia can also affect animals. It is common for dogs to suffer from astraphobia right before and during a thunderstorm. Dogs with this phobia tend to pace, whine, pant, bark loudly, and may even become aggressive and/or destructive.
How do we help our dogs deal with storm phobia?
• Allow the dog a safe space such as a covered crate or a bathroom
• Mask the noise of the storm with the sounds of TV or radio
• Allow the dog to hide under the bed
• Have a light on in the room to help minimize lightning flashes
• Separate dogs who become aggressive during the storm from other pets
• Some dogs are comforted with a weighted vest. Monitor the dog’s temperature to avoid overheating
Talk with a veterinarian when it comes to dogs and thunder. The veterinarian can help provide a better understanding of why the dog is reacting and offer tips and recommendations to help comfort the animal.