Wednesday, June 26, 2013 – As you may have noticed, summer of 2013 is turning out to be quite a rainy and stormy season. Summer afternoons and evenings are often accompanied by random bouts flash thunder storms and downpours. While we may be used to this trend, it’s important to keep in mind the safety of our four-legged friends during these shifts in weather. Dogs are much more sensitive to both sound and air pressure than humans. They can detect changes in barometric pressure and hear even the faintest sounds of thunder. Dogs are also able to feel static in their fur, which causes them to become anxious and act out of sorts. Because of this, storms can be very traumatic and frightening experiences for some dogs, and they may behave in an odd and frantic manner that owners need to be prepared for. For example, some dogs may seek unusual hiding spots before and during a storm. In particular, my German Sheppard likes to snuggle up in the bathtub during inclement weather. Often times, dogs will also be inclined to run away from home during a thunder or lightening storm. This is only out of fear and confusion, so dogs should be kept indoors until the weather improves. And because dogs can predict the onset of a storm much before humans, it’s key for owners to pay attention to weather reports and storm patterns. Never leave a dog outside and unattended if there is even the chance of a storm. Also, allow your dog to hide even if it’s in an odd place like a bathtub. The most important thing is to make your dog feel as safe and secure as possible. There are other options to help decrease the levels of stress and fear that your dog may experience during a storm: ThunderShirts: These can be found at most pet stores such as PETCO and PetSmart. Allow your dog to go into a room with limited noise intrusion. Some suggest rubbing a dryer sheet all over their dog to defray the static on their fur.