While we may not be entirely aware that our dogs are afraid, during thunderstorms does your dog seem restless or nervous? The hearing ability of dogs is second only to their sense of smell.
Consider the following points:
Dogs can hear up to the 38,000 hertz range, about twice the range of human hearing which is at 20,000 hertz.
Dogs hear sounds at 6 times the level of human hearing.
Dogs can detect and pinpoint sounds from 32 different directions, twice the ability of human hearing which is from 16 different directions.
This is why dogs can detect thunderstorm sounds long before humans become aware.
The following are reasons why dogs may become frightened during thunderstorms:
・Sound, light, vibration
・Sudden atmospheric pressure changes
These must all be taken into consideration.
Violent thunderstorms can cause humans and animals alike to fear for their lives so this naturally causes us to search for a safe place to wait out storms.
From this point onwards, I will demonstrate how to use a dog’s pressure point to help relieve anxiety.
Pressure Point to Relax the Body
At the location of the 3 red circles, use the following techniques:
① Press lightly with your thumb
② Massage gently with your index finger
Repeat steps ① and ② several times
For infants suffering from colic or the pain caused by bed bug bites, using gentle pressure on the nape of the neck can provide relief.
Gently massage the spine between the shoulder blades for fast relief.
In an example of an incident in my home, late one evening Leo (8 years old male Toy Poodle) suddenly began to wander around the living and dining rooms.
We were initially concerned that he was becoming sick, but after a few minutes the sound of thunder reached our human ears. At that point we understood that he was becoming uneasy due to the approaching storm.
After massaging the back of his neck in the area of the 3 red circles, he went to his normal sleeping area and slept comfortably through the night.
There may also be times late in the evening when your dog wants to sleep but is having difficulty due to the following possible problems:
・Distressed liver due to tension and stress (Leo’s liver function is slightly weak)
・Body tension, tight back
This massage technique can provide relief of these ailments so we must try to always be aware of the ways dogs communicate what they are feeling.
If your dog displays any reaction to thunderstorm, please try using this technique. It can also be very helpful in other times of stress such as after earthquakes, violent windstorms, loud noises such as sirens, or upon returning home after the dog has spent the day alone.