For some dogs, storms can be a very scary event.
It is thought to be that they can sense the changes in air pressure, and they have more sensitive hearing which allows them to hear the low-frequency rumblings of thunder long before people can.
Pacing, trembling, running to hide, or constant barking can all be indicators that your dog is feeling anxious about a storm.
To help calm an anxious dog during stormy times, allow them to have a safe space to go. They may feel safer in their own kennel, under your bed, behind the couch and another enclosed area around the house. If they prefer their own kennel with outdoor access, make sure all fences and gates are fully secure in case they become more frightened and try to escape.
It is also important to stay calm yourself. Your dog will feed off of your own emotions. If can stay calm, it will help them. Console them when they are scared, ensuring that you do not re-inforce fearful behaviours. This may mean you need to distract them rather than fussing too much. Try throwing a ball, giving them a brush or just talking to them.
Try a thunder jacket or wrap. This is simply a jacket that wraps firmly around your pet, similar to swaddling a baby. If you don’t have a jacket specifically for this purpose, use an old item of your own clothing (with your own smell for additional comfort), and wrap it firmly around them, though not too tight to obstruct breathing. The firm hold helps to put the dog into a calmer state of mind.
Put the TV on, play music (classical music has seen behaviour altering effects on some animals) or other white noise which can assist with distraction.
If you still have concerns about your dog reacting during storms, speak to your veterinarian who can advise you on the best form of action for your family member.