Environment

Astraphobia. That’s the fear of thunder and lightning. It’s something that can plague people, but our dogs can be affected by it, too. On the latest edition of “Science Behind the Forecast” with WAVE 3 meteorologist Tawana Andrew, she explains why dogs can have astraphobia.

“For our dogs, noise anxiety is pretty common,” she said. “That’s why when you hear fireworks and things like that, your dog might get a little bit agitated. But with thunderstorms it can become more severe because their ears are so sensitive. So what seems like a quiet rumble of thunder to us can be way louder and way scarier for them.”

So what’s one of the best ways to help your dog during a thunderstorm? Andrew explains.

“Stay calm. They can sense our fear and unease, so if we’re a little bit more neutral and calm and we have like a matter of fact attitude, that helps them to relax,” she said. “Another one I saw that was super interesting to me is when they’re acting afraid, don’t comfort them. You can actually reinforce that bad behavior. Instead, play with them.”

You can listen to the entire latest episode of “Science Behind the Forecast” with WAVE 3 meteorologist Tawana Andrew in the media player below.

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.