in Musings

Keeping dogs calm during thunderstorms


The N&O wrote about a new product to calm dogs during thunderstorms. Called the “Thundershirt,” it professes to soothe a jumpy pooch during thunderstorms and such. My neighbor bought one for her Labrador and swears by it.

This got me thinking about other proposed solutions. Kelly said she had heard people express success by rubbing a sheet of fabric softener on the dog, the idea apparently being that this would remove the storm’s static electricity from the dog’s coat. So, during the next storm I thought I would give it a try.

The other night a storm approached. The dog got nervous again, panting heavily and pacing around. I fetched a sheet of fabric softener and dutifully rubbed it on the dog. Sure enough, he seemed to calm down. But was that from the fabric softener or was it because the storm had come and gone? I can’t really say. After a second storm came by I tried it again. This time I didn’t see much of a difference.

The verdict? Sheets of fabric softener will indeed help keep your dog calm during storms, but only if you stuff them into your dog’s ears!