It’s raining cats and dogs! For readers in the Orlando area you know we have some crazy weather every year! And for dog owners that can mean some pretty scared pups! Here are some tips in making your pet as comfortable as possible!
1. If you know the storm is going to hit – prepare for it! Bring your dog inside or bring out his favorite doggie bed! Most dogs feel better when they are surrounded with the ones they love. Your dog will have a better time dealing with the storm if he or she is wrapped up in your arms watching a movie!
2. A lot of dogs have a habit of peeing when they are scared. Make sure you take them outside to do their business (before the storm hits, if possible). This should decrease the frequency and volume of urination. But remember – nervous peeing is an involuntary behavior so don’t get mad at your dog when it happens – they can’t help it!
3. Don’t reward your dog for being scared! This is the biggest mistake dog owners can make! When your dog is whining, shivering, and yelping the LAST thing you want to do is go over and cuddle with it. Why? Because you teach your dog that when she whines, shivers, and yelps she will get attention. When your dog is quiet and appears calm – that is when you should go show her some love and even provide her with a treat. Think of it this way, the more you pick up the crying baby the more the baby is going to cry!
4. Sometimes you just have to ignore them. It’s sad to say, but if your dog is going absolutely bonkers at the sound of thunder you don’t want to bring any attention to it – so the best thing to do is ignore it. If it really gets out of hand, there is nothing wrong with putting your dog in a crate until the storm passes. But be careful with this. If your crate is not considered a “positive place” for your dog, your dog will soon start to pair thunderstorms with crate time, which will only make your situation more complicated.
5. Finally, now I know you aren’t going to believe this, but bringing your dog to the quietest part of the house can help! I know right? Shocker! But you would be surprised on how many people don’t try this and just get frustrated. Bringing your dog to a quiet part of the house can have the tendency to calm her down, during this time you can reward her for being calm. If done consistently and successfully you can start to bring her back to other, louder parts of the house with no problems!