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Remedies for Your Dog’s Thunderstorm Anxiety

Spring and summer are primetime thunderstorm seasons. Many dogs don’t take kindly to the loud booms and bright flashes of a storm. If your pooch whines, slobbers, scratches, hides, or destroys things when storms come around, use these tips from a Southeast Denver veterinarian to help combat the problem.

Offer a Safe Place

Sometimes, all a dog will need to feel better is a safe, secure spot so they feel protected. A dog crate, a closet, or a quiet basement room can serve the purpose well. Set up a comfortable dog bed a few blankets, and stay with your dog until the storm passes.

Distractions

Try distracting your pet during storms to direct his attention away from what’s happening outdoors. Try playing music or providing other forms of background noise. Some dogs will pay so much attention to these sounds that they will forget about the thunder. Also provide plenty of fun dog toys and games. If your dog is having fun and staying engaged while playing, he may forget about his fears altogether.

Desensitization

Desensitization for thunderstorm anxiety involves playing audio of thunder and rain when it isn’t actually storming. If you play the storm sounds at a low volume, then gradually increase the volume, your dog might get so used to the sound that he won’t be frightened when an actual storm rolls around.

Consult your veterinarian before trying desensitization. If it’s not done correctly, it could frighten your dog into bad behavior, achieving the exact opposite of what you want!

See a Professional

If the problem is severe, you may need to seek the help of a professional animal behaviorist or certified dog trainer. Severe cases of anxiety can be treated in this manner. Your Aurora veterinarian can make a recommendation and put you in touch with a trainer that can help you—give the office a call today!

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