Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?
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Thread: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

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    Senior Member Angie's Bella's Avatar
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    Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    How can you help a dog get over it's fear of bad weather? I had a dog years ago that was scared of bad weather and as she got older it got much worst. By the time she paseed away (from old age) she had to be drugged every time there was bad weather. In fact, she would jump through windows if no one was home and bad weather came in.

    Now, Bella has started showing signs of fear when the weather gets bad. How can I help her through this before it get to be a problem?
    Lord help me to be the person my dogs think I am."

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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    There are audio CDs that supposedly can desensitize a dog to thunder &etc. There is an instructional program that comes with them. I don't know if they are of any value, but suppose they can't hurt. This is a problem with a lot of dogs as they get older. With our last old girl who developed fear of thunder and fireworks, we would just put her in a box in the basement, pile blankets and comforters on it, put on some classical music, and pump her full of tranqs.

    It didn't fix anything, but it got her through it.

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    Senior Member pamperedpups's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    In addition to the CDs already mentioned, you might also try:

    Bach's Rescue Remedy
    Dog Appeasing Pheromones
    Calming Collar
    Anxiety Wrap (for the body)
    Mark Out Wrap (for the head)
    Cottonballs in ears
    Favorite treats/toys used as distractions only during storms
    and the list goes on...

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    Senior Member Angie's Bella's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Wow, how come I have never heard of these CDs? Anyone know where I can order them or purchase them?
    Lord help me to be the person my dogs think I am."

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    Senior Member MissMutt's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    We had a mild thunderstorm here a couple of days ago and Marge kind of looked to the windows (it was hailing and it was loud) as if to say, whuzzat?!? So I tried putting the TV on to drown out the noise, but unfortunately I have satellite that goes off a lot of times during storms. Since she wasn't completely scared, just kind of startled, I broke out the treats and started talking in that high pitchy voice and she was alright. She stayed under my desk for a while, sleeping (it's kind of her safe zone), but wasn't totally freaked out.
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    Senior Member Angie's Bella's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by MissMutt View Post
    We had a mild thunderstorm here a couple of days ago and Marge kind of looked to the windows (it was hailing and it was loud) as if to say, whuzzat?!? So I tried putting the TV on to drown out the noise, but unfortunately I have satellite that goes off a lot of times during storms. Since she wasn't completely scared, just kind of startled, I broke out the treats and started talking in that high pitchy voice and she was alright. She stayed under my desk for a while, sleeping (it's kind of her safe zone), but wasn't totally freaked out.
    This is kind of how Bella is responding. Just a little nervous acting and panting, but that was how my old dog started out. She was a dalmation (named Noel) and was so sweet and calm, except when the rain started and then she went crazy. I am not really sure what triggered it because she wasnt always like that, and like I said hers started mild but by the time she died it was extream. I really don't want Bella to end up like that. (As I am typing we are under tornado watch and the weather is howling outside. Bella is laying up against me, panting, and everytime the thunder rolls she looks at me as to say "Is it still ok?")
    Lord help me to be the person my dogs think I am."

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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by Angie's Bella View Post
    Wow, how come I have never heard of these CDs? Anyone know where I can order them or purchase them?
    Noise-Shy Cure--Thunder/Fireworks

    I have only read the testimonials of 2 "internet buddies" who used the "Gun-Shy Cure". From what I've read of the process, it certainly seems like it's based on sound principles. Not having used it, I can't give thumbs up/thumbs down on the product. If my dog developed noise sensitivity, however, I'd take a whack at it.

    BTW, hunting dogs who are not bothered by gunfire do develop fear of weather events. Sounds strange, but it's true. For that reason I wonder if there isn't something else going on--besides the noise sensitivity.

    PS: if you do go that route, we want a complete review of the product, and a description of the process.

    PPS: I'd guess a reasonably powerful stereo system is a pre-requisite to success.
    Last edited by Marsh Muppet; 04-02-2009 at 09:30 AM.

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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsh Muppet View Post
    Noise-Shy Cure--Thunder/Fireworks

    For that reason I wonder if there isn't something else going on--besides the noise sensitivity.
    My wife has suggested (and it makes sense to me) that sub-sonics associated with thunder can be "felt" by the dogs.

    I am real interested in this subject as both of my girls are absolutely terrified of thunder, fireworks and gunfire.
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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Whatever you do, do NOT coddle them, and pat them trying to comfort them. It just reinforces that there is something to fear. If possible, try to get them to focus on you with a little obedience work, doing commands, etc.
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by WoodLark View Post
    My wife has suggested (and it makes sense to me) that sub-sonics associated with thunder can be "felt" by the dogs.
    Certainly that, but also that animals react to the barometer going into freefall. If your spend enough time in the woods, you learn to recognize that certain animal behavior/movement means there is a storm coming in and you need to find shelter. Suddenly seeing many single-strands of spider silk strung across the trail is an example.

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    Senior Member blackrose's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Rose is really starting to freak out for thunderstorms as well. She always has, but it has gotten worse as she has gotten older. Currently if we put her in one of our bedrooms she just pants and lays down, but she used to do that in her dog house, then the garage, then the laundry room...now she tries to break out of all of those places and is going to hurt herself and destroy whatever room she is in. When she starts doing that in bedrooms, we will be in trouble.

    I think I'm going to try some rescue remedy...was considering getting some pills from the vet to calm her down, but would rather try herbals before meds.

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    Senior Member Angie's Bella's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    OK, I ordered the videos. I figured that for $29.95 it is worth a try. I will tell you how it goes. Trying to devert her with treats and training works for a few minutes, but it is hard to hold her attention with the bad weather outside. My husband said everytime it starts raining my dog is going to think it is time to eat, LOL!!
    Lord help me to be the person my dogs think I am."

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    Senior Member KBLover's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by WoodLark View Post
    My wife has suggested (and it makes sense to me) that sub-sonics associated with thunder can be "felt" by the dogs.

    I am real interested in this subject as both of my girls are absolutely terrified of thunder, fireworks and gunfire.
    I've also heard that for thunderstorms, dogs can feel like electricity in the air, literally, from the ions and such and they don't like it.

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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    How do you react when there is a storm coming? When she shows these signs of distress what do you do? Be sure not to encourage these behaviours by petting her or holding her or you will just be encouraging her to be afraid, and with every storm it will get worse and worse.

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    Senior Member Angie's Bella's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by BandPipe View Post
    How do you react when there is a storm coming? When she shows these signs of distress what do you do? Be sure not to encourage these behaviours by petting her or holding her or you will just be encouraging her to be afraid, and with every storm it will get worse and worse.
    I really don't react at all, I actually enjoy the rain. I am going out on a limb here, but I wonder if it i related to her not being able to go outside? Really that is the only thing that I can think may be related. You think that between the sound of the weather and the fact that I make a big deal out of her wanting to go out when it is raining could be causing it? She is such a water lover that she use to want to run out everytime it was raining and the yard was wet and with her cotton like hair, it was just not a good thing. Maybe I am the cause of all the stress. Maybe she really isn't scared of the weather but a freaked out that she can't go out and play. Or, maybe I am WAY over thinking this????
    Lord help me to be the person my dogs think I am."

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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    It is with great interest that I have been reading this. We live in Florida and 2004 was the worst hurricane year anyone locally could remember. At the time we had Jazz, our Aussie and Lass, our Sheltie. Neither dog had a previous fear of storms but by the end of the season, both showed alot of anxiety everytime the clouds would come. We were hoping once the weather had been calm for a while, that the dogs would calm down. Nope. And they seemed to feed off of each others fear and get more fearful. We wound up separating them during storms into separate rooms, making a dark, denlike area. They seemed to be a bit better that way. The vet prescribed a tranquilizer for them but it didn't seem to help. Fortunately, they never got destructive...just panted, drooled and whined alot. I felt bad for them but tried to keep it low key. One thing about it...we could tell when the weather was changing and how bad it would be way in advance of thunderstorms! Both dogs would suddenly split up and charge for "their" rooms.

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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    I use Benadryl, if I have to.

    Mine also just had to learn to deal, because if I wasn't home and they were out in the kennel, they just had to hunker down and ride it out.

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    Senior Member DJsMom's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    George is just frightened near to death of loud storms, poor guy. Yes, I guess I've already done the damage as far as coddling & trying to comfort him.
    Our vet recommended benadryl, which I've tried, but without a lot result at all - if any. And I was also told that it has to be given like an hour or 1/2 hour before the storm, which is some times very hard to predict here where storms can come up outta no where.
    I will have to check into some of those products mentioned here.
    Cathy

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    Senior Member blackrose's Avatar
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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by txcollies View Post
    I use Benadryl, if I have to.

    Mine also just had to learn to deal, because if I wasn't home and they were out in the kennel, they just had to hunker down and ride it out.
    That worked for Rose until she learned how to break out of the kennel. =/

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    Re: Is there help for a dog scared of bad weather?

    I do have one that will break out on occasion, but he comes for his crate on the porch.

    However, I can't babysit them 24/7. So they go in a secure run and they have to cope, when we aren't around. ;-)

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