Home Remedies for When a Dog is Scared of Thunderstorms

September 07, 2023
Home remedies for dog scared of thunderstorm

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Many pet owners face the challenge of comforting their anxious furry friends during storms. This article explores various home remedies that can ease your dog’s thunderstorm anxiety. From creating safe spaces to using aromatherapy, these solutions offer an accessible and less invasive approach to managing your pet’s stress.

Identifying Signs of Thunderstorm Anxiety

Recognizing the signs of thunderstorm anxiety in your dog is the first step towards effective intervention. Different dogs show different symptoms, but there are common signs that you can look for:

  1. Physical Symptoms:
    • Shaking or trembling
    • Excessive drooling
    • Panting and rapid breathing
    • Attempts to escape or hide
  2. Behavioral Changes:
    • Restlessness or pacing
    • Whining or howling
    • Clinginess or following the owner around
    • Ignoring commands or disobedience

These signs will help you quickly identify the anxiety. Addressing the issue early can prevent the situation from escalating.

Home Remedy Options

Thunderstorm anxiety can be distressing for both dogs and their owners. While professional treatments exist, you might prefer to start with home remedies that are less invasive and readily available. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Safe Spaces:
    • Create a designated area where your dog feels secure. This could be a closet or a small room filled with their favorite toys and blankets for comfort.
  2. Distraction Techniques:
    • Keep your dog’s mind off the storm by engaging them in activities they enjoy, like playing fetch or letting them work on a puzzle toy.
  3. Aromatherapy:
    • Some essential oils like lavender have calming effects. Use a diffuser in the room where your dog spends most of their time, but make sure it’s pet-safe and used in moderation.
  4. Sound Therapy:
    • Calming music or white noise can help drown out the thunder. There are playlists specifically designed to calm anxious dogs.
  5. Dietary Solutions:
    • Herbal teas like chamomile can have a calming effect. Make sure it’s cooled down and offer it in a bowl separate from their regular water.

These home remedies can provide relief for mild to moderate cases of thunderstorm anxiety, but severe cases may still require veterinary intervention for the most effective and safe treatment.

DIY Anxiety Wraps

If your dog is anxious during thunderstorms, a homemade anxiety wrap can provide your dog a sense of security. Here’s how to make one:

Materials Needed:

  • A long, stretchy piece of fabric (e.g., an old t-shirt, scarf, or towel)

Steps to Create:

  1. Position: Stand behind your dog. Make sure they are calm and still.

  2. Wrap Base: Place the middle of the fabric across your dog’s chest, just behind the front legs.

  3. Cross Over: Bring the ends of the fabric up and cross them over the shoulders.

  4. Tie: Take the ends down along the sides and tie them securely, but not too tightly, around the lower part of your dog’s back.

  5. Adjust: Make sure the wrap is snug but not restrictive. You should be able to fit two fingers between the wrap and your dog’s skin.

Precautions:

  • Never tie the wrap too tightly, as this can restrict breathing.
  • Watch that your dog is comfortable and not showing signs of distress.
  • Remove the wrap after the storm has passed to prevent overheating.

Anxiety wraps work by applying gentle, constant pressure, like swaddling a baby. This DIY option can be a quick solution for mild thunderstorm anxiety.

CBD Oil for thunderstorm anxiety

You can read our article on CBD oil for thunderstorm anxiety for detailed information, but here are the main points:

How It Works:

CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system in dogs, which is involved in regulating mood and stress response. The oil can promote relaxation without causing a “high,” as it lacks the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana.

How to Administer:

  1. Dosage: Consult your veterinarian for appropriate dosage based on your dog’s weight and health condition.
  2. Form: CBD oil can be given directly via a dropper, mixed with food, or even as treats specifically formulated with CBD.
  3. Timing: For best results, administer the CBD oil 30 to 60 minutes before the anticipated thunderstorm.

Conclusion

Thunderstorm anxiety can be a challenging issue for dogs and their owners, affecting quality of life for both. While conventional treatments have their place, home remedies offer accessible, non-invasive options for managing this form of anxiety.

Creating safe spaces, using distraction techniques , and even CBD oil, there are all anxiety mitigation techniques worth exploring. By being proactive, you can make thunderstorms a less stressful experience for your furry friend.

biscuit

Biscuit's Story

I was unprepared for what would happen to my dog, Biscuit. 

Ever since she was a puppy, she’d spend her days running and playing. I’d take her on walks, to the beach, and dog parks.

Unfortunately, at age 10, she started to limp after trips to the beach. It broke my heart to see her in pain doing what she loved the most. I started feeding her a raw food diet and added high-quality supplements to ensure her nutritional needs were met. Unfortunately, while she loved the food, the limping persisted.

I went to the vet, who looked over Biscuit and said she was likely limping due to joint inflammation. She gave us something to help. This worked well at first. Biscuit was moving around more freely, and was limping less. 

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