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10 Tips to Help Calm Dogs Afraid of Thunder

By Serge Bielanko |

Thunderstorms and lightning. Very, very frightening!

Summertime means a lot of great things for dogs and dog lovers.

Running through open fields, rolling in the cool green grass, swimming in our favorite holes and fountains. Longer days mean more time afield, more hours lounging around under shady trees and on front porches. And with all of that extra playtime comes more exercise, which usually means happier pooches and happier owners. But there is a downside to hot sultry summertime too.

Because like a lot of things in life, summer comes with a real dark lining.

I’m talking thunderstorms.

And the dogs who hate them.

If you’ve never had the ‘pleasure’ of being around a poor pup who just cannot process or handle big thunder and lightning storms, it’s difficult to explain with words just how strange things can get. Nothing seems to change certain dogs’ normally upbeat personalities as much as the clap and crash of a t-boomer rolling across the neighborhood sky. Once happy campers might squeal or cry. Some hide and shake. And still others just plain freak out to the point where more than one owner has had to think twice about whether his best friend might have actually lost his darn marbles for good.

If you have experienced this phenomenon with your own dogs, well then, you know precisely what I’m talking about. And I feel for you, too.

So, with summer knocking down the door, I figured it was time for a look at some of the best ideas for dealing with thunderstruck dogs. And hopefully, with a little information, we can make this summer a whole lot more enjoyable for a bunch of our hairy buddies who deserve to have their best summertime yet.

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How To Help Dogs Get Through Summer Storms

Start 'Em Young

Many vets and dog owners agree that it's a lot easier to help dogs deal with loud sounds like thunder, traffic, gun fire, etc. if they are repeatedly exposed to it when they are still puppies. For thunderstorms, this isn't always easy since we can't just call up a tempest anytime we want. But there are CDs of noises especially made for training young pups. So, if you have a juvenile dog in the learning stages, check out that option.


You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

And on Facebook and Twitter.

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More from Serge:

Eat The Wind: 25 Supercool Dogs In Cars

Fairytail of New York: Pictures of a Big City Dog

Soul Survivors: The Stray Dogs of the Moscow Subway

More on Babble

About Serge Bielanko


Serge Bielanko

Serge Bielanko writes about fatherhood for Babble Dad and about marriage stuff for Babble Voices at He Said/She Said. His writing has appeared in Esquire and The Huffington Post, as well as on his personal blog, Thunder Pie. He lives with his wife and two kids in central Pennsylvania. Read bio and latest posts → Read Serge's latest posts →

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One thought on “10 Tips to Help Calm Dogs Afraid of Thunder

  1. MsPhillyG says:

    I have to say….that I have tried the thundershirt for months now and it doesn’t help my dog Goldie. I also bought the calming collar that has powder in it and it also was no help. My vet gave me some pills to try to relax her, but you have to get the pills in her 30min before and still no help. She runs around and when I try to get her into a crate she runs around panting and scared. I noticed that I sit in an office chair really close to the sofa and I left an opening for her to squeeze in and low in behold it worked. I turn off all the lights,close the curtains,blinds and turn up the TV and she stays behind be until the storm pass and sometime she just stays there the rest of the night until we go up to bed.

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