Extreme weather can be distressing for pets, especially if they haven’t got their home comforts. The experience of one canine during a thunderstorm has racked up over 5 million views on TikTok.
The sound produced by lightning often makes dogs feel anxious, but the real reason behind this dog’s tears has melted hearts on the Internet.
The viral clip shared by @breakcolonization2021 shows the dog running into the backyard to collect his beloved stuffed animal at 3 am.
Explaining what happened, the owner wrote in the video text: “The thunders came and she was distraught, crying. I let her out and followed her [because] she was so upset.”
“I was real worried about why she was crying,” the owner wrote. “She left her baby outside and it was starting to rain.”
Newsweek discussed the video that has 500,800 likes and 5.4 million views with a dog trainer.
Five Tips To Help Your Dog Weather the Storm
Dog trainer Joe Nutkins who is based in the U.K. told Newsweek about five ways to help canines manage thunder-related stress:
- Create a safe space for your dog to retreat to as dogs naturally seek out den-type areas when scared. This could be a crate with a cover over it and cozy bedding inside, or a table with a large blanket draped over and their bed under the table, or even open a cupboard or provide access under a bed. Finding a space they feel secure in means they can help themselves to stay more grounded and work through fears. Their safe space may be lying behind you on the sofa so they have contact with you.
- Look at foods known to help with calming such as blueberries, pumpkin seeds, whole oats, and even beef which helps the body’s own production of cortisol. By feeding some calming foods during heavy rain or if thunder is forecast, you can help your dog ahead of possible thunder.
- If your dog loves to play, you can try inviting them to play with you and a toy when you hear the first rumble of thunder or see the first flash of lightning. It may be far enough away, or timed well enough with the play, that your dog’s adrenalin can lift and help settle the fears. A game while the storm takes place can help in some cases, but if your dog is too worried let them go to their safe space.
- Walk your dog during the daytime where possible so lightning isn’t as striking and it can be a good idea to use a harness as well as a collar for any walks around rain starting or thunder forecast. Scared dogs when startled can bolt and this means they can easily reverse out of collars and harnesses too! Dogs can go missing during sudden thunderstorms where they panic.
- Keep a selection of their favorite toys nearby or prepare an interactive toy with favorite treats so as soon as you hear the first sign of thunder or see lightning. Then you can start a game with the toy or encourage your dog to use the interactive toy and find the treats and these help create a positive association to the storm.
So far, the clip has over 1,700 comments, many of which boast thousands of likes.
One user’s comment with 29,800 likes said: “Mom, it’s an EMERGENCY.”
“If you left your baby outside and realized it in the middle of the night when rain was coming you’d do the same,” said another.
A third user praised: “That’s just proof that dogs are better than some humans…worried about what she left outside in the weather.”
“Save the baby!” advised one user.
Newsweek reached out to @breakcolonization2021 for comment via Instagram. We could not verify the details of the case.