Flag

Q: Is there anything I can give my dog when a thunder storm is approaching?

July 17, 2008 | By Donna P. | 9 answers | Expired: 2191 days ago

Donna P.

My 10 year old Bichon is so scared of thunder that he starts to get out of breath, pants and shakes from 15 minutes prior to a storm and this last for hours after it is over. I try to offer him snacks and comfort him but nothing helps. I am affraid he will have a heart attack. The Vet says there is nothing I can give him. Any Advice?

Readers' Answers (9)
  • Sort by:
  • Latest |
  • Rank
T
Flag
T

Jul 17, 2008

Animals can sense a weather change way before we do. The barometric pressure affects their ears, eyes, nose, much like a head cold. The pressure on the ears causes most of the distress as they do not know what to do to relieve the pressure, therefore, causing them to become fretful. Although I am NOT a dog whisperer or anything like that, I do know that massaging an animals ears, and feet will relieve a lot of the pressure and anxiety. Also, if you have a calm demeanor, you will exude an aura of calmness around you and your animal will pick up on your anxiety level, or lack thereof. During the hurricanes, 2004 here in Florida, my husband, two dogs, and six cats stayed in a little metal shed behind our home. My husband was as nervous as a whore in church, but my animals were all laying at my feet as calm as could be. I had massaged each of them behind the ears, and their feet, and I took several nerve pills, as the hurricane came right over us. We lost everything, and I mean everything, BUT the little shed we were in didn't even move! Our Home was gone, a car was in the neighbor's tree, our boat was flipped and three lawns away, but the animals slept right through the storm, and my husband is still in shell shock! He got baptized a year after the 'canes! Good luck!!! Let us know how the next storm affects your pup!!

Thumbs Up: 2 | Thumbs up!

Anonymous
Flag
Anonymous

Jul 17, 2008

I agree that YOUR behavior affects the animal. My mom did not like storms, and when one came, our frightened terrier would always go to her because she enforced the fears with her own. I am of the herbal medicine school rather than pharmaceutical concoctions, for humans and animals, if possible. I would gradually expose the animal to storms. Maybe under an overhang during rain at first, then to the harder stuff like wind and lightning. Safe under an overhang or something, of course. If you go into it like you are enjoying the show they will follow your lead eventually. You are pack leader. Become one with the storm. Tornadoes of course do not fit this criteria, of course. We had a tornado hit my town and as I was heading to the basement I could see debris flying by the kitchen windows. It DOES look like those little flying monkeys in the Wizard Of OZ! No damages, but all I could think about was that movie as I headed for cover. No major damages thank goodness. Good luck with the shaky one.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Mandyspuppypalace
Flag

Jul 17, 2008

My advice is talk to another vet. My little dog gets so upset he throws up. He was badly mistreated before we got him and I think he was left out in thunderstorms, he is very afraid. My vet gave him a tranquilizer that I only use for that. It doesnt knock him out or anything it just relaxes him. They have also given him valium at one time when we first got him, but he doesnt take it anymore. My suggestion is get a second opinion.

Thumbs Up: 7 | Thumbs up!

Sourdoughsteve
Flag

Jul 17, 2008

RMSAIN is absolutely correct per my experience with Granite. It is important to act as if nothing is wrong yourself so the dog doesn't 'catch the fever'. As dog's are denning animals they like being in an enclosed area with only one way in and one way out so Granite prefers the small guest bathroom where I seldom turn on the light so it is dark, cool and his comfort zone. And that beats the heck out of drugs!

Thumbs Up: 4 | Thumbs up!

Ethel02
Flag

Jul 17, 2008

Don't give any human meds unless you talk to your Vet first some just don't work some can cause a reaction, each dg is different just luke a human, meds also depend on weight of dog and breed 1 grey is not bother, other grey freezes in spot she get valium low dose me and my Vet know her is it going to be small storms passing thru 1, fire works & bigger storms more, not over 2, won't tell strength your Vet makes that call, Annie the Lab goes Wacko so she is on something stronger, can't read the Drs writing but she can only have 1 and grey can't even have 1/4 of it, fireworks I know when to give the storms can be tricky they should have the pill 1 hr or at least 1/2 hr before, and no my Vet isn't after money, he gives me a few for free probably because at one point my grey was sick and they were going to build a special rm for me and my baby.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Stephanie
Flag

Jul 16, 2008

My aunt has a 5 year old Bichon who is TERRIFIED of thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. She gives her 1/4 of a tablet of benedryl, per her vets recommendation. You could try that as long as your dog doesn't have any major health problems.

I use Solid Gold Pet Calmer - its an herbal powder that you give your dog before stressful activity. Works well for fireworks, travel, etc. The only problem with that is it takes 3 hours to take effect so you could only use it for storms that you knew were coming. (You can read more about it on my zootoo journal)

Did you vet say there was nothing you could give him because he is older? or because he doesn't like to medicate for things like that? Does your dog have any health problems? I'm wondering why your vet said there was nothing you can give him... most vets have several suggestions, or will write you a prescription. Thats what my in-laws had to do.

Hope that helps. Feel free to send me a message with questions. :)

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Anna S.
Flag

Jul 16, 2008

My dog Violet used to be scared of storms. She never got completely over it, but we found out that every time we babied her during a storm she just got worse. The vet suggested that we just treat the storms like they are normal and make sure that whatever 'safe' place the pet prefers is always available during a storm. (for Violet it was the bathtub) We also found out that playing the radio as white noise helped as well. Hope that helps!

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Kristen B.
Flag

Jul 16, 2008

It's usually not a good idea to offer snacks when a dog is afraid - believe it or not, that's actually rewarding your dog for being afraid.

My first dog was absolutely terrified of thunder. So, whenever a storm was approaching, I gave her a few drops of Bach's Rescue Remedy, which is a flower essence with a soothing, calming effect. Might be worth a shot :) Good luck!

Thumbs Up: 3 | Thumbs up!

Newjerseychickxo
Flag

Jul 16, 2008

Try playing some loud music ,hey it might help.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement