From tornados to thrilling thunderstorms, we’ve had some wild weather in Alberta this summer! For some dogs, Mother Nature’s dazzling displays can turn even the most mellow mutt into a scaredy cat.
Not surprisingly, storm anxiety is fairly common in dogs and even before the first booming clap of thunder hits, you may notice that your dog suddenly begins to pant, pace, hide in a closet or stuff themselves under the bed. In some cases, the anxiety can be so bad that a dog may claw through drywall or doors, chew up the carpet, or even break through windows in an attempt to get away from the storm. Cats can also experience thunderstorm anxiety, although they tend to show their nervousness by trembling or hiding in a safe quiet place, rather than becoming destructive, until the storm passes.
What Causes Thunderstorm Anxiety in Pets?
The exact cause of thunderstorm phobia in pets is unknown, but it could include a combination of factors including the lack of exposure to thunderstorms early in life, an unintentional reinforcement of anxiety or fear by their owners, or it could be a genetic predisposition for anxiety. There is also some speculation that pets can sense the change in barometric pressure and feel the static buildup in the atmosphere before a thunderstorm, and could also be reacting to those environmental changes.
Fortunately for pet owners of storm phobic animals, there are a variety of relaxation products and over-the-counter remedies available that can alleviate some of your pet’s thunderstorm anxiety and help them remain calmer until the storm passes. Give us a call at 1 (888) 995-8387 to find out where to get any of these anxiety relief products!
Have you tried any of the remedies below or others that aren’t listed to help your anxious pets during a thunderstorm? Let us know in the comments!
The Thundershirt creates a gentle hugging feeling to calm your dog or cat if they are anxious, fearful or overexcited. Experts believe that the pressure created by the shirt has a calming effect on the nervous system, which can release endorphins.
The ThunderCap helps alleviate dog’s anxiety during high-stress situations by reducing the visual stimulus that makes a dog agitated by filtering his/her vision. The single-panel sheer fabric window makes the dog’s vision indistinct, while still allowing the dog to easily navigate his surroundings.
Feliway is a synthetic copy of the facial pheromone that cats leave when they rub their heads against walls, furniture etc. and studies have shown that it reassures and comforts cats, helping them cope with environmental changes or other stressful situations like thunderstorms. Feliway comes in either a spray, which can be used in specific areas like a carrier, or a plug-in diffuser for continual release at home.
Adaptil is a product that mimics the pheromones that a dog’s mother emits, which can help dogs feel comforted and safe, allowing them to be calmer and more confident during stressful situations like a thunderstorm. Adaptil can be dispensed in several forms depending on the type of calming support you need, including collars, spray bottles, or a plug-in diffuser for continual release at home.
Classical music compositions created specifically to help dogs relax using the science of psychoacoustics. Through A Dog’s Ear has been clinically proven to have a calming effect on dogs and reduce anxiety. Several different albums are available, including general relaxation CDs as well as specific music tracks to help with thunderstorm anxiety.
This milk-derived nutritional supplement can help both dogs and cats with anxiety feel more relaxed. It may take up to 24-hours for the calming effects to begin, but it can be taken regularly throughout thunderstorm season to help your pets remain more relaxed.