Do Dryer Sheets Really Help Dogs During Thunderstorms?

Have you ever noticed that during a bad rain and thunder storm, your adorable, loving, cuddly little pup gets extremely scared and fearful? Some dogs are so scared of rain storms and thunder that they hide under beds, in closets, or even behind the couch to try and protect themselves from it. For many dogs, thunder and lightning can be a trigger for anxiety. Many dog owners believe that dogs dislike thunder storms because of the loud noise that comes with thunder, but sometimes it can be more than that. 

Sure, dogs dislike thunder due to the noise — some dogs have canine noise aversion, which can amplify noise to them and make them fearful of any loud noises, including thunder (via National Geographic). But, other times, the change in barometric pressure can be a trigger for dogs, as they can sense the change in the sky. Not to mention, the sheer change in their overall body makeup, plus the darkening skies, loud noises, and heavy winds — it's no reason our four-legged friends are running and hiding. 

If your dog is usually scared during thunder storms, there are some ways to combat that anxiety and fear. 

How to help dogs during thunderstorms

When the barometric pressure changes and shifts during thunder and lightning storms, dogs can actually sense it. This can sometimes cause them to feel more static electricity than usual and make them feel wildly uncomfortable. Due to this, they usually look for a dark place to hide, thinking it can help them ease that discomfort and pain. Many pet owners invest in "thunder jackets" which can help ease the feeling of static electricity on their pet's fur.

However, if you don't have a thunder jacket handy and you do have laundry dryer sheets, you are in luck. Dryer sheets are actually great in helping dogs calm down and feel better during a thunderstorm. Rubbing dryer sheets on your dogs fur can help to minimize the feeling of static electricity on their bodies. It can help ease their discomfort and also be a coping mechanism for them — after all, what dog doesn't love to be rubbed all over (via Rover)?

Experts do suggest that you should try to use unscented dryer sheets, as those will have fewer chemicals. Additionally, you should rub gently, as to not irritate or hurt the dog. If all else fails, you can also cuddle them up during the storm to let them know they are safe and sound.