My dog is scared of thunderstorms - what can I do?
Tips on preventing thunderstorm and fireworks phobias:
- Don’t pamper or praise your dog when it is scared. This will only reinforce its belief that there is something to be feared. This may also lead to more attention seeking behaviour.
- Keep your pet in a dark secure area. The greatest number of lost dogs at the pound is always after a storm or fireworks. Dogs are more reaxed and less likely to panic if they are confined to a quiet restful place.
- Try distracting your dog. If they love playing ball then try playing catch with them during stressful times.
- Train your dog to be in control under stressful situations. Call us for a referral to a professional dog training centre.
- Use complimentary therapies. A new environment product has been developed that helps to calm and reassure dogs. Ask us about DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) to help with anxiety and phobias. Its very simple to use, just plug it in to a powerpoint and forget about it! No prescription needed, buy it over the counter.
- Try densensitization by hiring a CD of loud noises from us. Start at low volume and gradually condition your dog so that when actual noisy events occur, it wont seem unusual.
- If you have tried the above techniques without success, arrange a consultation with one of our vets for a behavioural modification program. This may involve the use of calming or prozac-like agents for short periods and will discover if there is a hormonal or medical reason for the phobia.