Help for Dogs Afraid of Thunderstorms or Fireworks
Dogs who are afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks may pant, drool, pace, whine, try to escape, cower and shake, have housetraining accidents or even destroy furniture. It is very important to help your dog as soon as you see these fears start to stop them from getting worse.
It will help your dog if you stay with him during storms or fireworks and allow him to be in a space he is most comfortable in. Some dogs prefer their crate, while others prefer your lap or--believe it or not--the bathtub! An area that is a bit quieter is probably best. You may find it helpful to turn on the fan, TV or radio to help block the noise a bit.
Speak calmly and cheerfully to him. See if you can distract him with something fun like his favorite toy or treats. Perhaps he would like a calming message or petting session.
If you dog is so nervous during thunderstorms or fireworks that he is in danger of hurting himself or seems very panicked, you should contact your veterinarian.
One of the most effective and long lasting things you can do for your dog is to follow the desensitization program below, "Curing Your Dog’s Fear of Thunderstorms" or "Curing Your Dog’s Fear of Fireworks".
Another helpful supplement is Melatonin (marketed for people) which can be found at local vitamin stores or drug stores. Here’s an excellent article on another website regarding using Melatonin and other remedies to help your dog over his thunderstorm fear.
The products below were selected by our professional dog trainer to help your dog recover and cope with his fears.