If your four-legged friend has thunderstorm anxiety, he (or she) is certainly not alone.
It’s estimated that at least 40% of dogs experience noise anxiety, which occurs with more frequency in the summer months.
Did you know that busiest days for runaway dogs showing up at animal shelters is July 5?
According to Associate Professor of Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of California Davis, Dr. Melissa Bain, “It’s very serious. It’s a true panic disorder with a compete flight response.”
Why, though, are some dogs so afraid of loud noises associated with things like thunderstorms and fireworks?
It’s simple, even if it doesn’t seem like it when your dog starts going crazy as the thunder rolls.
Many dogs are afraid of thunderstorms because they don’t understand what it is or what’s going on.
The extremely loud noise can be perceived as a threat, which can in turn manifest as anxiety.
The loud unfamiliar noise, however, isn’t the only reason why dogs can become so anxious in thunderstorms.
There’s research, for example, that suggests the feeling of static electricity in the air from the thunderstorm is what’s so disturbing to some dogs.
This is because the atmospheric changes can cause static electricity to build up in a dog’s coat, which can feel very similar to a painful, electric shock.
According to Director of the Animal Behavior Department at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, dogs can experience several shocks from static electricity during a thunderstorm.
Do thunderstorms have your dog running towards grounded spaces like the basement or bathtub?
The buildup of static electricity in their coat could be why.