It can be heartbreaking to watch: Even before the first clap of thunder, otherwise well-behaved dogs begin to pace, pant, cling to their owners, hide in the closet, or jam themselves behind the toilet. Dogs with astraphobia may or may not be afraid of other loud noises. While cats may not show their fear in quite the same way as dogs (in severe cases of thunderstorm anxiety, panicking dogs have been known to destroy furniture, jump through windows or otherwise harm themselves during storms,) they may still become extremely anxious. It is unknown why some pets become afraid of noises such as thunder and fireworks; it is a common problem in dogs, but less so in cats. When it comes to thunder, it can be terrifying to hear something so big and loud, especially when there is no way for them to understand what it is. Some dogs are afraid of thunder due to the electromagnetic electricity in the air. Desensitization. Asks a guy with a thunder 'fraidy cat! New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Using food to train the cat to respond to some voice cues (Come here! It is not uncommon for dogs to be frightened of thunder, firecrackers or other loud sounds. My cat is terrified of thunder. Although you can simply leave scared cats alone, it is more humane to condition them out of their fear using delicious food treats. There are probably multiple reasons for thunderstorm phobia, and the reasons vary from dog to dog. But feline ears are more sensitive than both humans and dogs, so why isn’t storm anxiety at least as common in cats?. Let them guide the process. This sudden worsening may be due to the fact that injury is added to the insult by some event that occurs during a storm. Some theories include the loud sound of the thunder, the flashes of light from the strikes of lightning, the change in the air pressure or even just the change in daily routine (an afternoon storm means no walk). My dog pretty much hates when a thunderstorm comes through. Then it becomes a safe spot. I don't get it, and he won't talk about it. When they hear thunder sounds and can’t identify if it’s a predator chasing them, they get scared. Is this normal? Why thunderstorm phobia? Hey, they gotta eat... What makes you think cats aren't afraid of thunder? Usually, those quirks are some kind of ridiculously funny phobias. It is unknown why some pets become afraid of noises such as thunder and fireworks; it is a common problem in dogs, but less so in cats. Oh my. Cats and small dogs may be somewhat immune to such static shocks. This aversive event confirms and magnifies their suspicions of the malevolence and danger implicit in storms. Cats are afraid of thunder because they don’t know that the loud noise isn’t a threat. Why Are Pets Afraid of Thunder and Lightning? Oh my my my. Anxiety-reducing pharmacological treatment. This Means to give a chance is recommended certainly. Rarely severe – feline affective defense response, which includes large pupils, hair coat raised, tail bushy, body hunkered down and tense, hissing and spitting. Dogs hear this loud noise and perceive it as something threatening. Counterconditioning. There are a number of dogs who get the shivers when the thunder starts to rumble in the sky. If we're outside on a walk though, he doesn't seem to care much. The simple answer may be that some cats do suffer from storm anxiety, but they employ different methods to cope with it. There is no way to know for certain what causes a dog to become afraid of thunderstorms. But when an animal gets completely distraught at the first roll of thunder and harms himself to avoid the perceived mortal threat, then we are talking about phobia. To live and witness our beloved dog going into a full blown panic attack with each rumble, truly is devastating. Dogs can be frightened or phobic of people, places, noises and things. Cats are also easier to train and will even train themselves. Experts aren't sure exactly why dogs are scared of thunderstorms. In the column, a reader asks why dogs are more afraid of thunder than cats, given that “dogs seem more intelligent.” Marilyn’s response was that, indeed, cats are far more intelligent than dogs, and being smarter, have learned that thunder won’t hurt them. I know dobes as a breed don't like loud noises, but she gets frightened even when the thunder is distant and not that loud. Symptoms and Types. Dogs develop fear responses for a number of reasons. Perhaps you adopted your dog from a rescue shelter, and you don't know much about his past, but he flips out anytime he hears loud noises, like books falling off shelves or doors slamming. Why Your Dog is Afraid of Thunder and What to Do. Unlike dogs, however, cats tend not to advance to the phobic stage, perhaps because their strategy of avoidance works. There are a number of potential factors that can contribute to a dog scared of thunder, fireworks and other loud noises. It's a very AMERICAN thing. My dog is terrified of thunderstorms. A: Many dogs are afraid of thunder simply because they do not understand what it is. Veterinarians don't know all the triggers but suspect the dogs are set off by some combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static … But why are they afraid? Probably the best treatment is avoidance. Cats are a lot easier than dogs as far as anxieties such as separation anxiety. Soothing a dog (“Poor baby! Is this normal? Why are dogs afraid of thunder but not cats? That goes for both species. - Open Forum | DSLReports Forums, broadband news, information and community What is normal for us is absolutely explosive to their heightened senses. Common noise phobias are in reaction to thunder, fireworks, hot air balloons, trash trucks or construction equipment. Genetics - these set the threshold for “what is stressful” and the default response of “fight or flight.” A dog with nervous parents is probably going to be on the nervous end of the spectrum - breed and breeding matter! This may help to somewhat drown out the noise of the thunder. Cats are far less destructive than dogs when I go out to the store or to work. Dogs have jumped through windows, bitten when handled or eaten through walls. Shockingly, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might assume. Well, they say there are no stupid questions, because dogs are sensitive (fear) low frequency sounds and vibrations whereas cats are sensitive to high frequency sounds, like a mouse squeek. Why Are Dogs Afraid of Thunderstorms? Q: Why is my dog so afraid of thunder and how can I make him less scared? Dogs and cattle often demonstrate this phobia. Rain on the roof of the house, bright flashes of light or even the drop in air pressure before a storm may be enough to trigger anxiety. However, this doesn't mean cats aren't sensitive to smell. Before considering the specifics of thunderstorm phobia in cats, it is worth emphasizing that fear is a normal response to a fear-inducing situation or circumstance, whereas phobias are extreme and seemingly irrational fears in which the response has been magnified to the point of dysfunction. Trainers and experts might not know every reason why dogs hate thunderstorms, but Miller believes it has a lot to do with the loud sounds. Reward them with a special treat -- one you don’t use for anything else -- for calm behavior. From the WebMD Archives . It can be related to a fear of other loud noises, such as fireworks. To stop this behavior if the dog is frightened to take a damp towel and damp the dogs fur down with the towel that has been soaked in water. The dog was a mess. This would not be a good time to pick the cat up to comfort her for fear of redirected aggression. Dogs and Cats Pet Care and Advice plus Wild Animals. They are scared for good reason! Dogs can be afraid of a wide variety of things, including thunder. Your dog may have never had a traumatizing experience with thunder but you will discover this fear in him. It’s painful to watch your furry friend suffering from thunder phobia. It may be thunder, a huge storm, fireworks, motorcycles, etc. They don't do that in Europe, and the dogs are just fine..... Cats and dogs both know that when they hear thunder, another dog was killed by God. Here’s your storm cookie!” Couple this with happy requests for simple obedience commands your dog knows well, such as sit. You get to work with a lot of different breeds of dogs which have many different temperament and have developed individual and unique character. Thunderstorm phobia occurs in both dogs and cats, but dogs are often more susceptible to this type of fear. For example, if your dog develops a fear of thunder, she may also become afraid of dark thunderclouds, and windy conditions which usually precede thunder and lightning. Noise phobias can include fear of thunderstorms, fireworks, gunshots, and even the sound of birds. They may pace anxiously and seek their owner's company for protection. Often times, when your dog is afraid of thunder, it’s because of the lack of exposure, which can cause panic and fear. Good question, I never really thought of it but I think they are.They just don’t show it as much. Dogs generally develop a fear for loud sounds. Dogs who do not like the sound of firecrackers may become fearful of the children who have the firecrackers or may become afraid to go in the backyard, if that's where they usually hear the noise. Thunderstorm phobia occurs in both dogs and cats, but dogs are often more susceptible to this type of fear. My Border Collie was afraid of thunder and we were able to use this to our advantage. Some theories include the loud sound of the thunder, the flashes of light from the strikes of lightning, the change in the air pressure or even just the change in daily routine (an afternoon storm means no walk). Is your dog scared of thunder and storms? For a few years he slept in my garage at night. For example, thunder is accompanied by changes in barometric pressure, lightening and rain, and your dog’s fearful response may be to the combination of these things and not just the thunder. save. Some become extremely fearful to the point where they show a full-blown phobia. Play it low enough not to bother them. By Daphne Sashin. They are individuals, some are afraid, some aren't. Find out how to comfort him during fireworks. First is the issue about the intelligence of dogs and cats. Experts aren't totally sure exactly why dogs are afraid of storms, but suspect the dogs are stressed by some combination of wind, loud noises, barometric pressure changes, the smell of the storm, static electricity, and low-frequency rumbles. When you understand the reason for your dog’s fear, it’s easier to find ways to help him stay calm. So make an effort to keep your dog calm, but remember to remain calm yourself. The way to a cat's heart is through his stomach and that maxim applies just as well when his knees are shaking as it does at other times. For all you people on wells. Many dogs have noise sensitivities, and storms aren’t the only triggers. Symptoms and Types AT&T Recovers From Outages After Bombing; AT&T Targeted Because Suspect Believed 5G Conspiracy Theory; + more news, Verizon Warns Viewers Hearst Signals Could Come Down; Bombing Exposed 'Achilles Heel' In Wireless Network; + more news, T-Mobile Ends 2020 With Another Security Breach; FCC Cracks Down On Robocalls, Enlists Telcos To Help; + more news, Threatened with throttling or disconnect for 1/2 data cap usage, Mozilla says it wants to shield internet from "bad actors". They usually display by hiding. Why Do Dogs Hate Thunderstorms? A theory that dogs suffer painful shocks of electricity caused by a build up of static before a storm hits. This self-preservation response qualifies as a fear. These types of fears may develop even though your dog has had no traumatic experiences associated with the sound. She runs and hides in the closet. Sit! Â©Copyright 1999 - 2021. You then wondered why are dogs afraid of thunder and why he had to escape to a place he can hide.. For your relief, dog scared of thunder is a common behavior in dogs. Dogs often start out sensibly, too. All Rights Reserved, Usually mild – large pupils, hiding, anti-social behavior. off the floor attached by a rod to a vaulted ceiling. Dogs that eventually become phobic often show fear of storms in the first year or two of life, but this fear is mild to moderate in intensity. Dogs that find these changes particularly disturbing may associate the unsettling sensations with the thunder that is sure to follow. Cats are aware that they’re predators and also prey. Dogs tend to be afraid of and develop fears to things such as … Even beeping from the microwave, or the vacuum cleaner sounds scare my dog because it's hurting her ears. The most obvious reason is due to the loud noise of the thunder. They will often go to the bathtub or shower at such a time. Thunder does not bother my cat, but the ceiling fan in the den does. 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