Storm the Weather

Jul 14, 2015

At this moment, a typical late afternoon summer thunderstorm has arrived. The sky darkened, wind gained momentum, trees are swaying, grumbles of thunder shake the house and unpredictable cracks of lighting startle all members of the household, including the dogs.

Thunderstorms can create marked anxiety for our pets. The stress can be so intense that serious injury can occur. However, there are some simple steps you can take to help ride the storm.

It's important to have access to a safe haven in the house, someplace familiar and peaceful, areas where traditional rest and quiet take place.  Providing calming music and aromas, such as pheromones, a hormone produced by pets, have been shown to promote calm and secure behavior.

The Thundershirt is not just for show, there is real value to its use. This velcro jacket applies gentle, constant pressure, similar to swaddling an infant. In addition, calming supplements, such as Composure, which have ingredients including tryptophan and colostrum can be given.

There may not be one solution to assist with thunderstorm anxiety. It may take a combination of some of the aforementioned ideas. For some, all of the above is not enough. Therefore, a conversation with one of our veterinarians about prescription medications may be warranted.

-- Dr. Michelle Mayers