Help! – My dog is scared of the wind!
Just as with people, dogs can have fears and phobias too and many of us may be familiar with some of the more common worries our pet dogs have, such as a fear of fireworks. But some dogs have more unusual fears like anxiety in windy conditions. Holidays4Dogs looks into this lesser known canine phobia and what can be done to alleviate wind sensitivity in dogs.
In the same way that human beings can have fears about things that don’t often make sense, or have an obvious explanation; so too can our dogs. Some dogs that are generally of a nervous disposition may have difficulty dealing with gusty winds – high winds can be loud and noisy, whistling through trees as well as blowing over items or, swirling rubbish, such as plastic bags, into the air.
The dog may also be able to detect many more scents in the air on a windy day, which can sometimes increase anxiety in nervous dogs. It is always possible that a puppy may have been spooked by wind or, something happening as a result of windy conditions, meaning he is more likely to be afraid of gusty weather on subsequent occasions.
If it is possible to carry your dog, this may help him to feel more comfortable in windy conditions – let him walk now and then, but be ready to pick him up if he becomes very distressed. Small dogs often dislike cold, wet, windy conditions, so a good dog coat will keep him warm as well providing him with a feeling of safety and comfort – rather like a swaddled baby. A coat will also prevent twigs and leaves sticking to your dog’s coat – some dogs hate this feeling and will refuse to move if they have a prickly stick stuck in their fur!
Many dogs won’t eat treats if they are feeling too anxious, but if your dog’s worries are mild, have plenty of tasty treats to offer your dog when he is walking calmly. Try and avoid areas where there are lots of trees as this will potentially make more noise but equally, large expanses of space may mean the wind can really blow hard.
Strong winds can cause sensory overload in dogs and while some may display signs of stress other dogs will appear to turn very silly in the wind – running around in circles with their bums tucked up, darting after blowing leaves and appearing to love every minute of it!
Does your dog love or loathe the wind? Holidays4Dogs would love to hear your stories.