The Owl’s Corner #2, June 2011 – Thunderstorms

June 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Owl's Corner

How do you help a dog who's afraid of thunderstorms?

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Margot D. asks:

We had a thunder storm recently. They started to make [my dog] nervous after we had one that sounded like giants playing ten pin bowling above our heads, which terrified him.

I asked him how he experienced this storm and he showed me. There is lots of turbulent energy that he feels going on above his head.

I tried serveral ways of explaining that this was harmless and will pass, but did not have much luck.  He remained on edge until it was over.

How do you explain complex concepts like weather to a dog?

Thanks for everyone's help.


4 Responses to “The Owl’s Corner #2, June 2011 – Thunderstorms”
  1. Margot says:

    Thanks for your feedback Nedda. Confinement is definitely not my dogs thing though 🙂 He needs to see what is going on.

    We have had quite a few thunder storms around here lately and a few days ago I took him for a walk in a storm.

    Suddenly it seemed clear to me how the explain it to him and it felt very natural to have the discussion outside in the storm. It felt more direct. I tuned into his perspective of the storm and visualised it as electrical energy high over our heads. I showed him that the energy can become lightning which can come to earth, and only if it hits us directly can it hurt us.

    He bought it and has been fine during subsequent storms.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Sometimes these things just take time, with me they do anyway 🙂

  2. Nedda says:

    Dear Margot,

    One of my friends had a dog sitting business where dogs would come to her home while their people were away. She found the following to be very helpful for dogs who had problems with thunderstorms:

    1- Give each dog a large cardboard box that is just the right fit for him or her and by being in darkness, this is womb-like and makes them feel safer.

    2- Spray Rescue Remedy or 5 Flower Formula (same flower essences, but difference companies) in the room to create a calm energy.

    3- Play quiet, peaceful music – probably classical or spiritual type music – that has a calming effect.

    4- Dogs can take herbs, and Chamomile Tea might be something you can offer them that is very calming.

    She did ALL of these things at the same time, so perhaps it was the combination that was so successful.

    Nedda Wittels, Site Moderator

  3. spiritweave says:

    Dear Margot ~

    Thank you for asking this question. Fear of thunder can be such a difficult issue to overcome. From what I have been able to glean, dogs thus affected typically experience an accosting of their systems with acute sensory overload. This can be so severe as to disallow rational thought. (In actuality, some dogs could teach us more about weather than we currently understand.) When any of us — regardless of species — are gripped by panic, trying to reason with us can be futile.

    As a generality, dogs seem to be best helped by some variety of assistance that enhances their ability to flow energy smoothly through their bodies. In relatively milder instances, flower essences or homeopathic remedies may be beneficial. Swaddling garments, such as Thundershirts, can work wonders but necessitate your being present at the time of need. The greatest successes within my awareness, even for the most extreme cases, involve dogs who are the recipients of skilled energy or chakra work. Again true for any of us, when blockages are dissolved and energy flows freely, all of our abilities are improved. Aiding the healthy flow of unseen energy can produce very tangible results.

    Barbara Ellis

    • Margot says:

      Thank you again Barbara for the sound advice. Thats given me some ideas about what to discuss with him in advance of thunderstorms. I have been thinking about learning more about chakra work. This could well be the motivation.