As the saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers." However, April showers often include thunder, and your dog might suddenly be responding in a new way to this noise, among others.
Casey O’Connell, our certified veterinarian technician, explains that as dogs age, their reactions to certain sounds might change. While thunder, for instance, might not have any effect on a dog for its first ten years or so, suddenly it might become an anxiety-producing experience, with symptoms of panting, shaking, etc.
However, the reverse might also be true. Dogs who have anxiety to thunder for their younger life may stop showing signs of stress as they age. Typically, if a dog is going to exhibit certain genetic-related reactions, the new behavior will begin occurring around age 3. Just like humans, though, no dog is alike. The age when reactions adjust vary, and may even shift back and forth throughout the dog’s life.
Also, assuming that the noise of the thunder is the cause of your dog’s stress might not be accurate. A change in barometric pressure or flashes of lightning (or the anticipation of them), might be outweighing a newfound ear fear.
The bottom line is that whenever your dog begins reacting to storms in a different way, a visit to the vet may be in order to discuss possible treatment, such as a prescription. Then those April showers might bloom a calmer demeanor in your canine friend.