Ask Dr Claire
Severe thunderstorm anxiety in a dog
Thunderstorm phobia can be tough to treat. In severe cases these dogs usually need veterinary prescribed medication. Depending on the frequency and the severity of the anxiety, it may be advised that the affected pet is on daily medication with a top up at times of a storm.
Other tips to help them:
- A “safe space” your dog needs a space where they feel relaxed and safe – where they can retreat to in times of storm. Consider baby-gating a room where your dog feels safe and happy, maybe with pee pads, just in case.
- Security – fencing needs to be appropriate so they cannot escape the property and risk injury
- Desensitisation to a thunder storm -type CD – although not usually very effective when a real storm arrives
- Radio – played loudly to mask the outdoor noise
- Have a night light where they sleep
- Thundershirts (fitted shirt) as a calming solution
- DAP- dog appeasing pheromone- this is a safe plug in device that you can out in an outlet where your pet sleeps to promote calm
A tailored program to your pets’ specific issues is ideal and medical problems need to be ruled out.
If your dog still needs help and you’d like to chat in person, you can get a vet on a live video call or start a chat to discuss in more detail now.
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