Monsoons and your dog

dogs and arizona monsoons
The National Weather Service is predicting storms through Friday for Phoenix but of course, Dog Radar has already given you the heads up about this week’s monsoons.

Dogs can sense a storm better than a child can sense an ice-cream truck coming.

Why dogs can sense a monsoon

With their keen ears, dogs hear at much higher and lower frequencies than we do, so they can hear a faraway rumble of thunder. And their noses can detect the smell of lightning ionizing the air. Dogs are also super attuned to changes in barometric pressure, which indicate a storm is near.

So, your dog has street cred when it comes to weather prediction.

But what to do about a dog who freaks out at storms? It all focuses on keeping the dog safe and feeling safe during the storm.

Offer the dog a safe place from the storm

If you know a storm is a’brewing, take your pooch out to potty before the storm. That way you can have them safely corralled in the house before the first thunder clap hits.

Providing a secure space like a crate or a dark room can ease their anxiety. Covering a wire crate with a quilt will muffle thunder and lessen flashes of lightning. Also, drag out that old, noisy fan which can provide some additional white noise for the dog

Dogs also pick up fear from their people, so stay cool. Let your buddy stay close and try to distract him with play or treats. Do not use sympathetic voice – this can sound like praise and may increase his nervousness and confusion.

Or consider de-sensitizing poochie by recording the storm sounds and then playing it back once the storm has passed. Keep the volume real low at first and play it back during low-key times like when you are cooking dinner. Gradually increase the volume over time.

Some people opt for a step further and use “thundershirts” that use acupressure to calm the dog by hitting pressure points.

And as last resort, there’s doggie downers. The trick with them is that you have to give the sedative usually about one to two hours before the storm.

And when would that be? Ask the dog — he’s the weather guy!


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