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  • Writer's pictureMalibu Veterinary Hospital


“Thunderstorm phobia is a disorder in which there is persistent and exaggerated fear of storms, or stimuli associated with storms”.

Many dogs with storm phobias are also fearful of loud noises such as fire works. In Perth, as the wetter months approach, so do the thunderstorms, and with Australians and their love of fire works, it is understandable that dogs can be affected throughout the year.

Behaviours commonly seen during a storm include:

  • Inappropriate soiling

  • Barking

  • Explosive destructive behaviours

  • Hiding

  • Trembling

  • Pacing

The first step with any phobia is to establish the correct diagnosis and to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the behaviour. Appropriate behavioural modification and drug therapy can be implemented to help once the diagnosis is made. Often in these cases a cure is not achievable, however improvement is likely if the pet

can be managed through an acceptable level throughout treatment.


  • Thunder jackets

  • Keep them in an internal room, one without any windows. If you don’t have one put them into a room with the blinds, closed and turn the light on.

  • Turn the radio on for background noise.

  • Try to keep them distracted.

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