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Help Your Dog With His Thunderstorm Anxiety

It’s no surprise if your dog doesn’t take too kindly to thunderstorms. The loud booms and bright flashes associated with a summer storm can prove quite frightening to our canine companions! Plus, it’s possible that dogs can detect slight changes in air pressure and static electricity when a storm rolls through, making them even more anxious.

Here are four tips for helping your dog with his thunderstorm anxiety from a Portage, MI vet:

Distract Your Dog

Sometimes, all that’s needed to help your dog get through a thunderstorm is a little distraction. Of course, this works best for puppies and younger dogs, who can easily be enticed. Try playing a fun game of fetch or tug-of-war as a storm comes in, or romp around with one of your pup’s favorite toys. Some dogs will become so engrossed in their play that they won’t notice the ruckus outside!

Create a Safe Space

Construct a “safe zone” in a quiet basement or an inner room of the house where you can lead your dog when a storm rolls by. Include a comfy pet bed, a soft blanket, and some of your dog’s favorite toys. Stay with your dog here and comfort him until the storm is over. For many dogs, knowing that their humans are there with them is all that’s needed to get through the frightening summer storm!

Try Calming Products

Did you know that there is a wide variety of calming products made just for dogs with thunderstorm anxiety? There are “thunder jackets” and other clothing items that wrap snugly around your pet to give them a feeling of security. You might also try a calming spray or rub that can help your pet to feel better. Consult with your veterinarian to find out about other products that might work for your pooch.

Seek Professional Help

If your dog’s thunderstorm anxiety is becoming a real problem, or if they’re suffering from anxiety related to other factors, it’s time to seek professional help. Your vet can recommend other treatment methods or put you in touch with a certified animal behaviorist or animal trainer. Specialized techniques might be needed, such as desensitization; this involves playing recordings of thunder at a low volume, then increasing the noise over a period of time to get your dog used to it.

For more information on thunderstorm anxiety in dogs, call your Portage, MI vet clinic.

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