As March rolls in like a lion, with it comes the ensuing rain, grey overcast days, and the occasional claps of thunder that send Fido and Fluffy running with tails between their legs. Since we can’t avoid stormy weather, we’ve collected some tricks to help you treat the thunder phobia plaguing your furry friends so that you and Fido can weather it fearlessly together the next time March’s lion begins to roar.
When it begins to rain and thunder booms overhead, give your pet one of their favorite treats. It must be a truly delectable treat that will entice them even in the midst of the loud noise. This might be the time you pull out strips of turkey or chicken. Whenever you hear a loud thunder clap, feed your dog or cat a delicious treat. Alas, they will begin to associate thunder with food which will transform the storm from a negative experience to a positive one. This concept mimics clicker training in which a noise or click precedes a reward.
If “thunder treats” don’t quite get your fuzzy pals salivating, try creating a safe house for your dog or cat to cuddle up in and hopefully rest or sleep. This can simply be their crate or a private nook in your house that your pet likes to relax in. Make sure it is comfortable, padded with soft blankets, and keep their favorite toys nearby as an added comfort.
A stellar conglomeration of research between Joshua Leeds, psychoacoustic expert, and Susan Wagner, veterinary neurologist, culminated in the body of work, Through a Dog’s Ear, a book outlining their scientific research and a collection of CDs designed to calm and soothe your dog in any anxiety-inducing situation. Their work studies the effects of the environment and its soundscape on our canine companions and develops simple solutions that highlight the importance of classical music.
Dog Appeasing Pheromone Therapy utilizes a replication of a pheromone produced in the mammary glands of a lactating female dog. The pheromone is supposed to promote a calm sense of security in dogs. It is extremely simple. Just buy it in diffuser form and plug it in to an outlet!
If all else fails and your pet continues to exhibit signs of stress from the sound of thunder, consider talking with your vet about medication that might include anti-anxiety or anti-depressant meds to ease them in these times.
Don’t let stormy weather get the best of you and your pets! Use these techniques to help them have sweet dreams!