"The righteous care for the needs of their animals." - Proverbs 12:10
"The righteous care for the needs of their animals."
- Proverbs 12:10
Though the bible mainly concerns itself with teaching the faithful to love and care for other human beings, it also contains its fair share of spiritually encouraging quotes about loving and caring for animals. One of the most common animals in the lives of Christian people are dogs, and Christians should be aware of their calling to care for the needs of animals when dealing with a dog that is afraid of thunder.
Thunder phobia is very common in dogs. Dogs may react to thunderstorms by whimpering, barking, pacing, hiding, shaking, or even by attempting to bolt. It is important for dog owners to recognize this fear and to take steps to help their scared animal companion make it through the storm.
Why Are Some Dogs Afraid of Thunder?
Most dogs are simply afraid of thunder because thunder is scary and loud. You can't really explain to a dog what thunder is, and so all they know is that the sky sometimes makes terrifyingly loud noises when it becomes dark and cloudy outside. It's natural and beneficial to be afraid of thunder in the wild. Taking shelter and hiding during a thunderstorm decreases an animal's chances of ending up in a dangerous situation.
What Can You Do to Help Your Dog?
There are a number of ways that you can help a dog with an extreme thunder phobia. You can try distracting him with play, treats, and belly rubs. Try to stay upbeat and cheerful so that he can see that you're not at all worried about the noise. Offer him some of his favorite food so that he learns to associate good things with thunderstorms.
In the middle of a thunderstorm it is perfectly fine to pet your dog, but you should refrain from hugging him or holding him too close. Holding your dog closely, especially if you feel sorry for him, can backfire and serve to reinforce his fear. He will likely pick up on your anxiety and think that you're afraid of the storm as well.
If all else fails, then try to create a safe place for him. Dogs will naturally seek to hide under tables, chairs, or beds. Consider playing some music or turning on a fan near his hiding place. It isn't unhealthy for a dog to seek out a hiding place, as this is exactly what dogs would do in the wild. As long as he is content to sit quietly, then you can leave him be until the storm passes. Just make sure to check in on him every once in a while.
If you are caring and attentive to the specific needs of your dog, then you will have no problem helping him through the next thunderstorm. By closely watching his behavior and body language you will be able to discern if he needs company, distractions, or to be left alone to wait out the storm in a quiet place.
Insight from Scripture
So you delivered them into the hands of their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies. - Nehemiah 9: 27