noise phobia cocker spaniel hiding under couch

Thunderstorm Season – Thunder & Noise Phobic Dogs Part 1

Thunder & Noise Phobic Dogs – Part 1


It is said that at least 20% of dogs are thunder-phobic and that number seems to be increasing. That percentage is most likely much higher than that as well, since it doesn’t include people who have never sought treatment for their thunder or noise-phobic dogs.

In this little series of articles I wanted to look at all the NATURAL ways to help calm your dog if she/he has anxiety and stresses out during thunderstorms or other loud noises.

Thunderstorm-anxious dogs not only suffer classic signs of fear — including pacing, whining and hiding during a storm — but a study done in 2006 also showed a 207 percent spike in the production of cortisol, a hormone also produced by humans during stress. The researchers took saliva samples from the dogs used in the study before and after exposure to a recorded thunderstorm, and measured the cortisol levels in each sample.

One of the findings was that dogs that lived in multi-dog households had significantly less overall change in cortisol levels compared to dogs that lived in single-dog households. This corresponds to a less extreme reaction to thunderstorms in dogs from the multi-dog households. However, this doesn’t mean if you have a noise or thunder phobic dog that you should run out and get more dogs, depending on the reason for your dog’s phobia, another dog in the household could bring on even more stress. This study also showed that the dogs living in multi-dog households actually started out with slightly higher cortisol levels, indicating they were already under more stress for what ever reason.

Of course, most veterinarians will recommend drugs to calm and help your dog through a thunderstorm or fire works. While this may seem like an easy and quick fix, it is so much healthier and better to approach phobias naturally and in some cases it is possible to help your dog’s fears permanently.

Let’s look at some of the naturopathic ways of easing your dog’s anxiety and stress during thunder storms.

The following list are the more common remedies that I will share information on over the next week or two:
Sound or Music Therapy
Counter Classical Conditioning

Stay tuned. 🙂

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