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Posted on 06-06-2013
Does your dog run and hide, climb in your lap, or tremble as storms approach? If so, he or she likely has thunder-phobia. As humans our instant response to this reaction in our pets is to coddle them and reassure them that they will be fine. It is important to try to ignore your pet in this situation. Giving your pet excess attention during a fearful event like thunderstorms can actually make the situation worse, as you are essentially telling the pet “good job, it's OK to be scared of storms”. The most important time to address this behavior is the first time you notice it. The longer it goes on untreated the worse the behavior will get. We are here to help. Please let us know if your pet has these issues and we will schedule an appointment for you and your pet to discuss the problem and get a plan in place.
Treating your pet's thunder-phobia involves a variety of methods and require hard work and training. We are here to help develop a plan for you and your pet. There is no immediate solution, and it will generally take time and patience on your part, but together we can help your pet develop ways to cope with this stressful problem. One product we use is a thundershirt. It is essentially a tight fitting shirt that the pet wears and provides a calming effect. We may combine this with medications to reduce anxiety. We will also discuss a counter conditioning program to help desensitize your pet to calm their fear. A lot of the same techniques work for fear of fireworks as well, so if that is your pet's issue let us know.
So if you are tired of having a 130 pound Great Dane in your lap every time it thunders, or a dachshund under your pillow when it rains let us know.
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