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By April R. from Pilot Point, TX
I tried to post this but I dont think it went through the first time so sorry if its double posting! Anyway, its not uncommon for dogs (especially small dogs) to have fears during loud noises such as a thunderstorm. Several breeds in fact are prone to anxiety which makes loud noises even more nerve-wrecking for them. I have two IGs (Italian Greyhounds) and one of them-Scout, is terrified of thunderstorms and lightning so I can definitely relate!
I have a few solutions that should help with Henrys anxiety problem and I hope you can find some that work for you!
First off, does your dog have regular anxiety (fears towards other events/people) during day-to-day life? If so you might want to take Henry in the vet to see if he needs an anti-anxiety medication. It is usually a small pill that you give your dog daily and is what I use for Scout and it really helps!
If this is something that only happens occasionally and you dont feel its enough of an issue to talk to your vet about, you might want to consider getting (or downloading) a song that has a thunderstorm or rainshower in it. This could be a simple environmental song of just the rain itself or it could be a song of classical music being played with the thunderstorm in the background. Its quite easy to find and Im sure www.YouTube.com carries a lot of them you can download for free.
Once you have your cd of the thunderstorm, the idea is to play it at times to make Henrys mind connect the fact that rainstorms arent always a bad thing and can be connected with positive memories or activities, etc. For example, I read that it is a good idea to play the rainstorm cd softly in the background during feeding time to slowly associate them with the sound and so they associate the noise of the shower (bad) with the act of getting food (good). You can definitely continue this to other activities such as playing this cd when giving them treats, taking them for a ride in the car, or just during play time.
Another easy remedy (although much more low-key and a little less effective) is a herbal remedy my friend (who is a dog behaviorist) recommended to me for Scout. She told me that dogs respond to herbs much the same way that people do and just as Lavender is soothing and calming for people... it does the same for dogs. She recommends getting a Glade Plug In (or similar product) and use the Lavender scent during times of thunderstorms and when anxiety seems to be high. She also says its a miracle worker with dogs with separation-anxiety. She puts them in their kennel next to the Lavender plug-in and it calms them down.
The last suggestion I have for you is a product you can buy that is said to do wonders. It is called a ThunderShirt and basically a jacket you make Henry wear (like any other dog clothing) and works on the principal that it wraps around the dogs body so securely
that to the dog it feels like it is being hugged which gives the dog a sense of security and comfort. You can get more information at their official website ( http://www.thundershirt.com/ ) but because it has recently become so popular I have seen it being sold at our local pet stores such as Petco as well.
Anyway, I hope this information helps you and Henry. If you are ever looking for more good anxiety information in dogs, a good website I found is located on the pets portion of www.WebMD.com and can be found here ( http://pets.webmd.com/ )
Hope this helps!
A lot os dogs are afraid of storms!:) My Aunt's dog was afraid of storms, but after a while of people sitting beside her while she was afraid she got over it. So when there is a storm, then just take special care your dog.