In the Spring and around the 4th of July, my phone rings off the hook with concerned pet owners looking for solace for their sound phobic dogs.
BANG! BOOM!!! Both thunder and lightning storms and 4th of July celebrations create the same Sky Monsters for doggies, resulting in such benign issues of hiding behind sofas to such damaging issues of eating them - due to stress.
When dogs age, they have a tympanic membrane that gets more and more sensitive to barometric pressure changes, which is what they respond to on the thunderstorm rating. This cannot be medically alleviated, so they get more reactive to weather. The resultant lightning and then thunder only serves to vamp up the pressure issue, and lo and behold, we have a thunderstorm phobic dog.
There are many positive training ways of working with such a poor wee beastie, and some of the operant conditioning training methodologies work wonders in these cases, so do not give up!
Even though the 4th of July comes once a year and spring thunderstorms are sporadic, it helps your dog to be comfortable if you plan ahead and hold their paws thru the Big Bang Booom!
Dorene, who lives with two thunderstorm phobic Border Collies