Dealing With Thunderstorm Phobia In Dogs

There are few things sadder than watching your dog turn into a frightened, shivering mess in the face of an oncoming storm. No one really knows for sure what causes thunderstorm phobia in dogs. Some scientists say it’s a response to the barometric pressure changes in the air, while others point to the increase in static electricity. It could be any number of things that our dogs are reacting to—until they can tell us, we won’t know for sure.

When it comes to dealing with a dog’s thunderstorm phobia, you may need to try a combination of approaches to calm your dog. A dog’s fear of storms is not rational, and we can’t just explain to our pups that there’s nothing to fear. However, there are a few things you can do to ease your dog’s fear and potentially train and desensitize them to future thunderstorms.

Recognizing Signs Of Stress Or Anxiety In Dogs

Being able to recognize the signs and triggers of a dog’s stress will help you understand your dog better, and keep you both from getting into a situation where your dog may take unwanted actions out of fear or anxiety. While there are a few signs of fear and anxiety that most owners can diagnose easily—whining, a pinned tail, etc—there are some you may not know as more subtle cues that your dog is nervous. If your dog is exhibiting these behaviors, there may be something around that is causing anxiety.

Remember: it is a good thing for your dog to be giving you signs of their discomfort. Punishing a dog for growling or trying to get away from an uncomfortable or stressful situation can cause them to skip those cues next time, and go straight to aggressive behavior. Recognizing the signs of anxiety in dogs is the first step to diagnosing and working to help your dog overcome their triggers, especially if they’re making a marked impact on their well being.

The 10 Habits Of Responsible Dog Ownership

February is responsible pet ownership month! We’ve talked about good habits for reactive dog owners, but what about dog ownership overall? Owning a dog is a big commitment, and one not to be taken lightly. Here are my top ten habits for responsible dog ownership. Do you follow all these habits? Are there places you can improve?

1. They Choose The Right Dog For Their Lifestyle

As we mentioned at the start of our Puppy 101 series, if you’re thinking about getting a dog, it’s impossible to over think it. It’s a huge life decision, and this dog could potentially be with you for 10-15 years. So look at it from every angle and make sure you’re ready to take the plunge.

Part of responsible dog ownership is knowing that you can provide for a pet, before you get one. You should also make sure you’ve tackled other considerations before you ever set foot in a shelter or go to see a breeder’s stock. Consider your lifestyle, and what kind of dog will fit in with your day to day habits.

Most importantly, responsible dog owners don’t get a pet on a whim. It’s fine to impulse buy a sweater or a pair of shoes, but not an animal. When you adopt or purchase a pet, you’re adding another life into your family, and that comes with a lot of responsibility. Make sure you’re ready for it.