Is your dog afraid of thunder? It can be heartbreaking to witness – and in some instances downright dangerous.
Signs of Dog Anxiety
As a storm approaches your dog hides, cowers, shakes, barks, or is otherwise agitated – and petrified. In extreme cases, your dog may try to escape – bolting through any open door into the street, or crashing through a glass window trying to escape. Other associated behaviors exhibit as destructive chewing, accidental urination or defecation, licking and drooling. It’s important during these situations to act as normal as possible around your pet, and not to pet, try to soothe, or punish your dog.
There are ways to help – without resorting to drugs – all of which have negative side effects.
Create a Safe Environment
Under these circumstances, your dog wants – and needs – what they consider a safe environment. Safe will mean something different to every dog. Your dog may choose to hide under the bed, in the closet, or behind the couch. Let them. Give them their space, and provide some toys for distraction. Soft music often helps. A word about crates. This is not the time to crate your dog to try and protect him/her from danger. It will only add to their anxiety as many dogs will feel trapped. If your dog has a crate, leave the door open should they want to venture in but let it be their idea. The goal is to create a safe haven.
Try a Natural Remedy
Several natural remedies are available to help your dog through the anxiety.
The Thundershirt is a great invention with an 80% success rate. Similar to the concept of swaddling a baby, this is a “shirt” that wraps around your dog, which has a dramatic calming effect for an over-excited, fearful or anxious dog. Put the Thundershirt on your dog before the storm for best effect. Due to the high success rate of this product, the Thundershirt has been embraced by thousands of veterinarians and dog trainers worldwide.
- Rescue Remedy for Pets
Rescue Remedy for Pets is a flower essence that is 100% safe, gentle and all natural. In use for over 80 years, it has been recommended by vets worldwide to help calm pets in in stressful situations. It can be added to your dog’s water, or for more immediate situations, put directly on your dog’s gums or tongue (follow directions on the bottle).
Pheromones are species-specific chemical substances that are produced naturally by the body. Mother dogs emit scents to their puppies called dog-appeasing pheromones. This scent is known to dogs from birth, and is a source of comfort and security. Synthetic forms of the dog-appeasing pheromone have been developed which have been clinically proven to reduce stress and come in the form of plug-in diffusers or sprays.
Aside from thunder, many dogs are frightened and stressed by other noises and circumstances – fireworks, new people, loud noises, car travel, trips to the groomer or vet. Many dogs – especially rescues – suffer from separation anxiety. The good news is any of these solutions can be used – alone or together – for whatever may stress your dog.
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