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How to Calm a Dog During a Storm at Night

Posted by Jeffrey Powers on
a dog next to his owner at night

The darkened sky, flashes of lightning, and the deep rumbles of thunder can be unsettling to many, but for our canine companions, these elements of a storm can evoke deep anxiety and distress. As night amplifies the uncertainty of these natural events, many dogs find themselves restless, fearful, and seeking solace from their trusted human. Understanding their perception of storms and their reactions is paramount for offering them the comfort and security they seek during such times.

Storm anxiety is a common concern among pet owners, and the search for effective ways to alleviate their dog's fears is continual. By recognizing the signs of storm-induced distress and equipping oneself with effective calming techniques, owners can ensure a more peaceful and relaxed environment for their pets during tumultuous weather. If you're seeking ways to ease your dog's anxieties during nighttime storms, continue reading to discover a range of compassionate and effective solutions.

Why are Dogs Afraid of Storms?

Storms can be particularly intense for dogs, largely due to their heightened senses. The deafening roar of thunder can be profoundly unsettling for them due to their enhanced hearing capabilities, making what's merely loud for humans potentially terrifying for canines. The visual disturbance caused by lightning, which may just be a fleeting concern for us, is perceived by dogs as alarming strobe lights that disrupt their usually calm environment. Moreover, the static electricity, a lesser-known by-product of lightning, can accumulate in a dog's fur, leading to considerable discomfort and unease. As the atmospheric pressure changes and the storm rages, dogs may exhibit a spectrum of anxiety symptoms. These can range from overt manifestations such as frantic howling, uncontrolled barking, and unpredictable destructive behavior, to more covert signs like excessive panting, drooling, or showcasing a noticeably apprehensive body language.

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a dog on a hike anxious of an approaching storm

How to Calm Your Dog During a Storm


Stay Calm Yourself

Your dog is highly attuned to your emotions. Any anxiety you display can easily be sensed by your pet, potentially escalating their own feelings of unease. To help your dog navigate this challenging time, it's pivotal to remain calm and composed. Use a gentle, soothing voice, maintain relaxed body language, and ensure that your demeanor communicates safety, thereby reinforcing the idea that there's no reason to be alarmed.

Avoid Reinforcing Their Fear

Our natural inclination is to comfort our pets when they're distressed. However, showering an anxious dog with excessive affection might inadvertently reinforce their fearful reactions. Strive for a balanced approach—acknowledge their discomfort, but reward and praise them when they exhibit calm and composed behavior during the storm.

Bring Them Inside

Securing your pet indoors during a storm is of paramount importance, especially if they're used to staying outdoors. The heightened noises and sensations of a storm can easily spook a dog, causing them to run off in fear or seek shelter in potentially unsafe locations. To prevent such situations, make sure they're safely inside before the storm intensifies. Keep them on a leash during outdoor breaks to ensure they don't run off impulsively.

Create a Comforting Den

When faced with anxiety, dogs often gravitate towards a secure, den-like environment to seek solace. Facilitate this natural instinct by preparing their crate with soft, comforting bedding. Draping a blanket over it can further enhance this safe space by muffling outside noises. It's essential to leave the crate door open, allowing them the freedom to enter and exit, ensuring they never feel confined or trapped.

Block Out the Flashing Lights

The visual disturbances caused by lightning can be unsettling for dogs. To alleviate this, make sure to draw the curtains or blinds, creating a buffer against the erratic light patterns. Some dogs might instinctively bury their faces to find comfort—allow them this autonomy, understanding it's their way of coping.

Engage in Positive Distractions

Diverting your dog's attention from the storm can be highly effective. Familiar activities, like playing fetch, gentle grooming, or even offering a favorite chew toy, can act as a positive distraction. Engaging them in these activities can shift their focus, providing relief from the distressing stimuli outside.

Muffle the Noise

Neutralizing the frightening sounds of a storm can significantly ease your dog's anxiety. Creating a serene auditory backdrop using the TV, soft melodies, or ambient white noise can be immensely calming for your pet. However, it's crucial to select sounds judiciously, avoiding any media with sudden loud noises or jarring interruptions that could heighten their stress.

Consider Anxiety-Reducing Apparel

Specialized apparel can provide a comforting embrace for many dogs. This gentle pressure often mimics the feeling of being held, which can be incredibly soothing. If opting for such solutions, always ensure the garment fits well, providing comfort without being overly tight or restrictive.

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A small white dog looking out of a window

Using CBD Products for Storm-Related Anxiety in Dogs

CBD, or cannabidiol, derived from cannabis and hemp plants, has garnered attention for its potential to alleviate anxiety in pets, including storm-induced stress in dogs. Unlike THC, CBD doesn't produce a "high," making it an appealing natural remedy for anxious canines. Available in various forms such as oils, tinctures, and treats, it's essential to choose pet-specific, high-quality products that have undergone third-party testing. Although many dog owners attest to its effectiveness, consulting with a veterinarian before introducing CBD is crucial, especially if the pet has underlying health conditions or is on other medications. With careful administration, CBD can complement other strategies to provide relief during stormy conditions.

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Ensuring Tranquility for Your Canine During Nighttime Storms

Storms, especially at night, can amplify the uncertainty and fear many dogs experience. Being armed with knowledge and practical calming techniques ensures that we, as pet owners, can provide a serene environment for our beloved canines during such challenging times. Whether it's through creating a comforting den or exploring the benefits of CBD products, there's a myriad of ways to alleviate storm-induced anxiety. For those considering the natural relief properties of CBD, ensure you source from trusted brands. For high-quality CBD and hemp products, check out Beaver Island Hemp, a trusted name in the industry, to offer your pet the best in holistic care.

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