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Q: how do i help my dog in a thunder storm?

July 3, 2009 | By sara b. | 9 answers | Expired: 1902 days ago

sara b.

my dog is just terrified ofthunder storms what to do?

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GoldenMom
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Jul 14, 2009

My 10-year old golden has been terrified of thunder & fireworks all her life. The only thing I've found that worked was changing her focus. While the storm is going on we'll throw her favorite tennis ball or my daughter will play with her and cheer excitedly. The TV goes on when we know she's going to be alone during a storm. This seems to work have worked well with her but it took a number of times to create a new pattern. Prior to this we'd baby her & try to calm her down only to make matters worse.

It's helped her during storms through the night too. Instead of crying and panting wildly, she just gets up out of bed and moves to the other side of the room (her bed is by a window). Even during the fireworks recently; she waited at the back door for it all to end then when we invited her to come back outside she didn't hesitate. Before trying this she would cower in the living room or bedroom and shake terribly. It would take a good half an hour before she would even go out to potty.

I hope you find a remedy, it's hard to watch these poor babies go through this.

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Nancy
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Jul 10, 2009

With my dog its not only thunderstorms but also New Year's and the 4th of July. I usually bring her inside and sit with her, making sure to always be byherside so if she does get jumpy I can imediately pet her and make her feel better. When a dog is being touched by their own they are usually at ease.

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Jasmin T.
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Jul 05, 2009

i snuggle up with my dogs and i play with them, play the stero or tv

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deb a.
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Jul 05, 2009

I have 8 dogs, 4 panic over storms, gunshots, and fireworks, 3 of these are labradors, many good answers above toyour question I do agree do not BABY them, turn up the tv. radio, or whatever, do not let them out unsupervised as they may bolt, and during a none thunderstorm season try to desensitize them by getting a audio of a storm, start playing it in one room low and then as they seem less bothered turn it louder and in more rooms continue to do this and it should help it helped the other 4 of mine, the 4 that are fearful are new family members so we must start this process all over.

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Stacy H.
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Jul 05, 2009

I know it is tough, but you should not baby dogs when they are frightened, it will only make the problem worse as they get older. Inadvertently it is giving them a positve reinforcement telling them it is okay and that is what you want. My big guy is terrified and follows me from room to room and if it is during the night time hour he sticks his head under the bed. I like a lot of the suggestions about white noise and trying to preoccupy with their favorite toy or game. With Max I continue on with what I'm doing and allow him to work through his fear and if being attached to me brings him comfrot then so be it, but I don't tell him it is okay and I try not to reward this behavior( but sometimes you just feel so bad for them that you can't help but snuggle).He is nine and a half and still terrified, so I don't know that they ever get over it, maybe just learn to deal with it on their own terms.

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Lisa B.
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Jul 04, 2009

The loud noise of fireworks can send some cats-dogs into a state of panic. Some animals have even have seizures during fireworks or thunderstorms.

Saturday is the 4th of July, so it seemed like the right time to talk about this problem. Many cities and municipalities will be having their fireworks displays this Friday or Saturday night, so if your cat is frightened by the noise, this could help.

At this time of year, many pet owners complain about their pet's reaction to fireworks. The combination of loud noises and bright lights can scare animals, even those that don't normally have a history of noise phobias.

Lots of dogs have phobias, and the most common dog phobia is fear of noises. Some dogs become so agitated by fireworks that they have seizures. Others become "spooked" and try to run away. (I've actually seen dogs that ran out into oncoming traffic during fireworks and were hit by a car.)

Cats also fear loud noises. And while they become frightened and often even terrified, they do not usually exhibit phobic behavior (where they become dysfunctional and can harm themselves) like many dogs do.

Still, most cats hate loud noises like fireworks and thunder, and will turn into real "scaredy cats" when they hear the first booming "crack" of noise. They become extremely nervous and immediately run for cover. Hiding is a cat's way of seeking protection from danger. So during fireworks or loud thunderstorms, a cat will often seek refuge under a bed or inside a closet. And while most cats emerge from their hiding places unharmed, they feel frightened and anxious throughout the experience.


So, what can you do to help keep your cat calm during the fireworks or thunderstorms this weekend?

Here are some suggestions:

1. If you are going to the fireworks display, don't take your cat along. If your cat is very frightened by fireworks, consider staying at home so you will be there while the noise is happening.

2. Some cats are very sensitive to people's moods and may be influenced by the way that you react to the noise. It is best to act happy and calm to help reassure your cat that all is well.

3. If you must leave your cat at home alone during the fireworks, try to keep him comfortable. Bring your cat indoors. Try turning on the radio, television, fan or air conditioner as "white noise". Make sure you provide a comfortable hiding place or "safe place" for your cat to hide if he is scared during the fireworks.

4. Pet anxiety studies have shown that music can have a calming effect on a stressed out pet. I would recommend the Music My Pet CD because it was created for the specific purpose of calming pets. The classical music tracks were arranged to have a smooth soothing dynamic from beginning to end. And the music is performed using only those instruments that have been proven to have a calming effect on pets (like the harp, flute and piano). Try playing the CD before the fireworks begin to ease your cat into a relaxed state, and continue playing it throughout the fireworks.

Want to hear what the music sounds like? Click here to listen to a sample track from the CD

So, the best way to deal with this issue is to be prepared. Before the fireworks begin, anticipate your cat's reaction to these loud noises. Whenever possible try to avoid exposing your cat to fireworks. If this is not possible, do everything that you can to make your cat feel more comfortable and secure. Talk to your cat in a light, cheerful, reassuring tone that sends a comforting message that the noise is no big deal. Make your cat's environment as peaceful as possible.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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misty
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Jul 04, 2009

my Bruno is terrified of them as well... if it is during the day, i try to distract him with whatever works... at night, he will run from room to room... i'll call him up in bed with me & just let him hide while i snuggle & hold him... i feel so bad because his whole body just trembles...

just do what you can to comfort your furkid... some can get over it, others dont... just snuggle up & they will relax... at least a lil... :o)

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jackie
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Jul 03, 2009

MY ONE DOG IS TERRIFIED i TRY TO HOLD AND COMFORT HER i TURN THE STEREO ON TO DROWN OUT THE SOUND OF THE STORM iF i KNOW iM GONNA BE AT WORK i SOMETIMES GIVE HER, HER BENEDRYL TO HELP TAKE THE EDGE OFF

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Lori M.
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Jul 03, 2009

When you know there is a thunder storm coming put him in a room with all his favorite things and give him a Kong filled with treats. Keep the TV or radio on to drown out the noise of the thunder.

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