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Old 11-05-2008, 12:08 PM
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Tazwell Tazwell is offline
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Default Thunderstorm Phobia

I've been asked a few times lately, about thunderstorm phobia and how to help it.

The methods I've always recommended are the "Anxiety wrap," or sweatshirt method, Methodical desensitizing (which most people are unwilling to do), calming supplements (either holistic or vet prescribed), or a combination of two or all three.


Does anybody here have Thunderstorm-phobic dogs? How do you handle it? Does anybody have any other tips?
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:15 PM
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I used to have a thunder-phobic dog, but now he just mildly dislikes it.

As long as I don't make an ordeal of the situation, he handles storms quite nicely now. I would play thunderstorm sounds while he ate (highly food obsessed and ignores everything when he eats) and at random times throughout the day while treating him. Recordings are very different form real storms, but he learned to ignore the recordings after a while. Real storms "feel" different and he's visibly uncomfortable, but nowhere near as bad as hiding and trembling like he used to. I just treat him whenever a boom goes off and then he'll begin to ignore the sounds and vibrations.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:28 PM
borzoimom borzoimom is offline
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Well not sure if it will help you but helped with Femka. We burn lavendar/lemon candle. Lavendar ( they say ) calms and lemon removes the 'fear" smell.. It has worked for femka for 4 almost 5 years since we got her.. Second during the day I keep music on. When a storm comes I put music on again as she knows that is a normal sound..
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:49 PM
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None of my dogs (as an adult) have ever had a phobia of thunderstorms. I've heard of those tapes that you're suppose to play at low volume and gradually over a long time, increase that. But maybe if they don't work it's because lightening puts ions into the air and they probably feel that. ? I don't know. But what I've always done was to get out some really special treats and a ball and start playing and acting like it's really a cool time...try to associate a wee of a time with the thunder. I don't know if that is why they aren't afraid or if they just aren't anyhow. The only dogs I've ever had that were afraid were my child hood dogs where my parents probably made a sympathy party for them and made a fuss over it. They'd hide in closets and keep pacing around trying to find someplace better to hide. It is really pathetic to see them so terrified. Hope you find something to help.
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:00 PM
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depends on how fearful the dog is.

harv was completely shut down. he'd shut down before the storm even got here. he wouldn't take treats. he wouldn't respond. he'd shut down, pace, and shake. the week of fourth of july the summer after i got him we had storms every night in combination with the assorted fourth of july fireworks/firecrackers/etc. he wouldn't pee outside after dark for the whole week following- he was just too petrified.

personally i didn't mess around. i tried melatonin and saw no improvement, so we went straight to a combination of clomipramine taken daily and xanax for storms. we started with a lower dose of the clomipramine and ended up having to increase it before i saw a serious improvement. he was never completely at ease, but he did not shut down, was able to eat during storms, and was able to go potty afterwards. he was happiest in my upstairs hallway, so i usually sat up there with him and read during storms.
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:49 PM
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I tried different things with Tango her entire life. She was completely shut down hours before I even knew a storm was coming though, so it was hard. The best thing for her was some Rescue Remedy, and her crate. Nothing else worked as well as that did, and even crating and givng her Rescue Remedy didn't work very well.

Fortunately the Dobermans and Dance are fine with thunder. Spring hasn't experienced it yet (with me anyway, probably did at her breeder's house), but she's noise sensitive, so I wouldn't be surprised come summer if I'll be having to deal with her being afraid of storms.
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