How Many Dogs React to Thunderstorms

Many dogs typically hide underneath some furniture or cling to their owners hearing the first sound of thunder. Sometimes dogs will even damage furniture or break through windows due to their phobia of thunderstorms. What causes dogs to have this phobia of storms and what can dog owners do about it?

What Veterinarians Know


Veterinarians don’t know for sure, but think that dogs can sense and hear some frequency of the thunder, lightning, wind, pressure changes, static electricity, and other noises that human bodies are not aware of. Some dogs experience a painful shock from the buildup of static electricity before thunderstorms that humans don’t experience and this triggers dogs to hide.

Sometimes the phobia for these dogs comes and goes. Dog owners have reported that their dogs might have little to no fear of thunderstorms one year, and then have a complete mental breakdown over similar thunderstorms the following year out of nowhere.

It could be the case that these dogs sensed a certain frequency with a certain thunderstorm one year, but not with a thunderstorm another year and humans might not feel the difference.

Different Breeds of Dogs

Some breeds of dogs react differently than others do. Particularly, border collies and other types of herding breeds seem to have a noise phobia more than others do. Some dogs are frightened not only by thunderstorms, but also by other loud noises, such as gunshots and fireworks. Other dogs are only scared of thunderstorms.

How Can I Help My Dog Overcome His Fear?

Some believe it’s a good idea to bring your dog over to the bathtub as your dog most likely likes to be in this area during the thunderstorms. The bathtub helps to block out buildups in static electricity and this can help to put your dog at ease, especially if your bathtub is made out of porcelain.

Another good spot besides the bathtub would be a dark room with music playing as the music can help to block out certain noises that dogs can hear but humans cannot. It can also be a good idea to put a crate or box on top of the dog to block out some of the noises and allow your dog to be able to fall asleep more easily.

Other precautions you might take would be to close all curtains and window blinds to shield your dog from any bright flashes of lightning that might scare your dog.



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