How to Comfort Your Dog During a Storm

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Written by the Editorial Staff

Storms can be a terrifying experience for dogs. Thunder, bright lightning flashes, and sudden atmospheric pressure changes can cause significant stress and anxiety. As a responsible pet owner, knowing how to comfort your furry friend during these unsettling times is important. Here are some effective strategies to help your dog feel safe and calm during a storm.

1. Create a Safe Haven

Dogs often seek out small, enclosed spaces where they feel secure. Could you create a haven for your dog in a quiet area of your home? This could be a crate, a closet, or a cozy corner with their favorite bed. Please ensure the space is comfortable and filled with familiar items such as blankets and toys.

2. Use Calming Techniques

There are various products designed to help reduce anxiety in dogs. Consider using a calming wrap or anxiety jacket, which provides gentle pressure to help soothe your pet. Additionally, calming sprays and diffusers that release pheromones mimicking those of a nursing mother dog can be very effective.

3. Play Soothing Sounds

Drown out the noise of the storm with soothing sounds. Play soft music or white noise, or use a specially designed pet-calming playlist. The consistent background noise can help mask the sound of thunder and make the environment feel more normal to your dog.

4. Offer Distractions

Please keep your dog occupied with their favorite activities. Engage them with puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, or a long-lasting chew. This distraction can help take their mind off the storm and reduce their anxiety.

5. Stay Calm and Reassuring

Your dog looks to you for cues on how to react. You are more likely to feel safe if you remain calm and composed. Speak to your dog in a soothing, reassuring voice and offer gentle petting to comfort them. Avoid showing any signs of anxiety or frustration, as this can exacerbate their fear.

6. Provide Physical Comfort

Sometimes, the best comfort you can offer is simply being there for your dog. Sit with them, offer physical closeness, and provide gentle strokes. This physical contact can be incredibly comforting and help them feel more secure.

7. Consult Your Veterinarian

If your dog's storm anxiety is severe, consult your COTA veterinarian. They can provide additional strategies and, if necessary, prescribe medication to help manage your dog's anxiety. Behavior modification techniques and professional training can also be beneficial in the long term.


Every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Finding the most effective methods to comfort your dog during a storm may take some trial and error. Being proactive and attentive to your dog's needs can help them feel more secure and less stressed during these challenging times.

For more personalized advice and assistance, call us now to schedule your visit with Dr. Alyssa N. Fenton, DVM, cAVCA or Dr. Susan Ries Valashinas, DVM at COTA Veterinary.

We are here to support you and your furry friend through every storm.