Caring For Your Pets During Storms

Caring For Your Pets During Storms

Drving in the Rain

1. Calming Methods

Connolly said that techniques such as calming the animal by petting them or simply sitting with them may reduce anxiety.

Also, allowing a pet to have a "safe" quiet place where they can go and be undisturbed can be used.

Try to block out the lightning and play loud music to block out the noise if possible, she said, adding that a white noise may help.

Playing a game or distracting the animal with a favorite toy can also put them at ease, she said.

In some cases, a veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medications such as Alprazolam that can be administered before a storm.

2. Conditioning and Behavior Modification

Other methods of reducing anxiety during storms may include conditioning a pet to not fear the sound.

"You can play recordings of storms and play them at a sound level just below where they will get scared," Connolly said. "They should be played in short, 3- to 5-minute intervals and no longer."

A concerned dog parent should work with their veterinarian to develop a safe and effective conditioning program, according to Connolly.

"Behavior modification is the best way to get your dog desensitized to storms," Connolly said. "It is important to not punish your dog during this time, they will just get more stressed."

Connolly said it is also important never to praise them and tell them it is "OK."

"By rewarding this behavior you can inadvertently encourage it," she said.

3. Stress Relief Gear

Out of necessity, CEO and Founder Phil Blizzard said his business was started after trying various methods of calming his own dog during thunderstorms.

"She's been afraid of thunder and fireworks," Blizzard said. "Anytime we had a thunderstorm, she would pant and shake."

In the middle of the night during a storm, Blizzard said his dog would often awaken him by climbing on top of him while he was in bed.

When methods recommended by the veterinarian didn't work, Blizzard and his wife started looking for another solution to alleviate her fear, which motivated the creation of the ThunderShirt.

"Someone had suggested a snug wrap, like swaddling, which applies a gentle, constant pressure," he said, adding that this concept is to provide stress release for animals and humans alike.

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Phone: 281-798-9680
Dated: June 15th 2015
Views: 514
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