“Some dogs and cats experience noise phobias and are frightened by unexpected loud noises like thunderstorms,” shares Dr. Hohenhaus. “As a result, some pets may exhibit destructive behavior, anxious behavior, or abnormal behavior.”
Destructive behavior can include things like scratching or digging at a door or wall, chewing, or having accidents in the home. Anxious behavior can include things like clinging to their owner, drooling, hiding (especially cats), and/or excessive panting. And pets that exhibit abnormal behavior may do things like skip meals, try to run out of doors (or jump out of windows-for cats), shake, and temporarily forget their training.
If your pet is exhibiting any of these behaviors, you might want to consider trying a few home remedies.
“One of my patients with thunderstorm phobia calms down if her owner wipes her fur down with a dryer sheet,” says Dr. Hohenhaus. “Dryer sheets may decrease the buildup of static electricity caused by the impending thunderstorm. I suggest the unscented ones, since dogs don’t like smelling like an ocean breeze.”
Dr. Hohenhaus also suggests applying a dab of lavender oil to anxious pets’ ear tips, as the lavender oil fragrance has calming properties and is readily available at health food stores.