Montana is known for the bi-polar weather patterns. Afternoon storms are exceptionally common during the summer months and provide a much-needed relief from the hot afternoon sun. However, many dogs do not appreciate the thunder clap and flickering lightning that mother-nature often provides. While anxiety and fear are common, it doesn’t mean we are helpless in our pet’s unease. There are several options to help with noise aversion in dogs.
Behavior Training- treating the symptoms will not always relieve the anxiety until the under-lying issue is resolved. De-sensitizing your pet to thunder or fireworks requires long-term dedication but creating a safe space for your pet to retreat is a good place to start.
Pros: natural, positive reinforcement, creates good habits for storm aversion
Cons: Time intensive if training with a professional, slow progression
Thunder Jacket- the idea behind it is like swaddling an infant. The hugging effect can calm some pets.
Pros: Easy to use, fast acting, non-medical
Cons: Not always effective- especially in extreme cases, not for long-term use
Anti-anxiety Medications- Alprazolam, Trazadone, Sileo are commonly used medications that can be given to help your pet feel more relaxed.
Pros: Effective, easy-to-give pill/gel forms
Cons: Needs to be given a couple of hours before the stimulus, medication can only be prescribed by your veterinarian
When pets are scared, they can react in different ways. Some dogs have been reported to run away from home, even injuring themselves, when afraid. We love our pets and want to keep them happy and safe. Be sure to keep your pet’s identification tags and microchip up-to-date in case of emergency or loss. Your veterinarian can help you to decide what course of action would be most beneficial for your pet.