Many dogs are afraid of storms. Loud noises, static and changes in barometric pressure can produce fear, anxiety and panic. In this state dogs can hurt themselves or property damage.
Learn how to control their fear during the storm and react in time for the next one.
1.- Recall your dog when the storm begins. Do not wait too much time after the storm has completely begun, recall your dog as soon as you hear the first thunder.
2.- Keep calm. Your dog can sense anxiety. If you are upset, your dog will know and that make things worse. Don’t give your dog the wrong signals or the feel that something’s wrong. Keep the same routine that you’ll have every night, smile and speak to him with the same tone, calm and reassuring.
- Even when reassuring your dog you can transmit the wrong feel so is better to calm him rather than overloading with sympathy or false happiness.
- Some dogs are susceptible to soft singing and may help him to be calmed.
3.- Look for a safe place. Having a safe place for the dog to hide. The ideal place is a place safe from the light and noise, while the dog can be close to his owner. This are some suggestions:
- Under the table or bed
- In his cage covered by a blanquet.
- Inside a closet or bathroom without windows.
4.- Cover your dog. Try to wrap your dog with a blanket or clothing and let him go under your arm or in the sofa. The dog can be reassured with the additional pressure, as a baby feels safer when wrapped. If you think useful, you can buy an especial clothing against anxiety as in thundershirt or anxiety wrap. The clothing must fit tight around the dog’s chest but be sure to buy the right size for better results.Make sure that the acupressure points are all around the body avoiding hurt the dog itself.
- Some of these clothing (anxiety wrap) press the acupressure points associated to stress relief.
- If it’s a warm weather and you are concerned about him getting too warm, you can wet some of these clothing. The air flows through the moistened cloth and will act as a refreshing agent. Always monitors the dog if you are concerned about his health or safety.
- Some of these clothes are adequate to get him calmed while outside. Always read the instructions first to find the security information.
5.- Block the noise. High volume TV, music or different noises (such as the washing machine) may help to weaken or disguise a thunder. Pick a familiar and comforting noise for your dog.
- You can also cover the dog’s ears.
6.- Avoid windows or outdoors. If possible keep the dog away from windows or put some heavy curtains. The lightning may be a cause of anxiety. Block the dog’s access to exits because some dogs can attempt to flee or hurt people.
7.- Play with him. Cheer up your dog while do some inside activities such as ball fetching or dance together. Try to look for some activity that keep away the attention to the storm.
8.- Keep in mind house remedies. This may include herbal and homeopathic recipies against anxiety. Always use dog wise remedies. Some oils and scents that are essential for humans may hurt or harm your dog. And for instance you should apply lesser dosis.
- Make sure to consult a veterinarian before apply concentrated oils that may hurt your dog’s skin as well as yours. It may also damage the furnitures.
- Lavender is a popular option for some dogs if you apply the right dose.
- Another option is to pet your dog with a dryer sheet since they can reduce static.
9.- Talk with a vet about meds. If these methods don’t work, you can consult with a vet about anxiety medication. Your dog can have some meds such as amitriptilina during storm seasons. Also there are some quick action meds such as the acepromazine or diazepam that can be ingested during storm.
- Never medicate your dog before consulting a vet.
- Some meds are more effective if taken before you can notice a major behavior changes.