That sweet smell is in the air, the barometric pressure is changing, the cool relief of clouds…The awesome power of mother nature is released, striking fear into your fur-baby’s heart. Storm stress, or anxiety happens to many dogs, the staff and Dr. Fromm’s pets here at the clinic, suffer from mild symptoms to escalating symptoms. Symptoms, unfortunately, can get worse throughout the season, and from year to year. Here’s a list of some symptoms that your dog may have caused by storm stress:
- Panting and/or Salivating
- Hiding or Escaping
- Destructive if left alone
- Potty Accidents
If you are noticing that your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, there’s hope and relief. First, thing to do is document it. What is your dog doing? Does it get worse? What time is it? Is the storm here yet? Thunder Booming or wind blowing? Writing this info down, helps to be objective and let’s us know if things are getting worse for your dog. For example, Sara’s Dog Tailgate used to never ever be fazed by fireworks, storms, or loud bangs. About 3 years ago, Sara noticed that fireworks started causing mild pacing, and trying to hide…As things progressed, Tailgate now has multiple symptoms of storm stress (and complete firework freak outs). Luckily, Sara is able to use the tips below to help her dog. For thunderstorms, Tailgate does well now if she uses the ear muffs, and leaves the lights on, and cuddles on the couch watching LOUD TV!!! Sara has ordered a thunder shirt (TM) and once Tailgate tries it out, we will give you an up date on how it worked for her. According to their website, www.thundershirt.com, the shirts work for about 80% of dogs.
Here are some tips to keep your dog safer in thunderstorms:
- Play Loud Music or Turn Up the TV
- Ear Muffs (like used for loud events or trap-shooting)
- Leave the Lights ON
- Kennel Your Dog (if they are kennel trained)
- Creating a Safe Zone
- ThunderShirts (TM)
- Prescription Medications
Please give us a call, 970-434-0811 or messenger us, if you have any questions on how to use these tips. Usually, if we start as soon as symptoms are noticed to help alleviate storm stress, we can help your dog from having more extreme symptoms. If your fur-baby is needing more than environmental intervention, a Physical Exam by a veterinarian (aka Dr. Fromm) to ensure that they are healthy enough for a prescription is needed. Prescription Medications for storms have gotten safer, and more user friendly but there are some things you need to know. Dr. Fromm will also explain how it works, what is needed to be done by you, and what to monitor. For example, sedatives make it hard for your dog to regulate his/her body temperature, so you need to beware of what the temperature is… Luckily in our area of Western Colorado, storm season is usually spectacular in force but short in duration.