Thunderstorms are a common phobia in dogs and cats.
It can produce a range of fearful behaviours such as pacing, panting, vocalising, shaking, trying to escape and destructive behavior.
You may not be aware that it isn’t ‘normal for your dog or cat to be scared of thunderstorms and in fact, it’s these behaviours are a sign that your pet is panicking.
There are two types of phobias:
Simple – where your pet’s behaviour is considered ‘normal’ when there isn’t a thunderstorm. This type of phobia requires treatment to prevent further development.
Complex – when your pet reacts to other triggers, such as wind, rain and darkness, as it associates these with thunderstorms. These cases often need referral.
If you think that your pet is suffering from thunderstorm phobia, please feel free to speak to one of our staff at Clare Valley Vets for further information.
7 quick and easy tips to treat your pet's thunderstorm phobia at home
Adaptil - a pheromone spray designed to reduce stress and anxiety in different situations. This can be sprayed in their ‘safe spot’.
Thundershirt/anxiety wrap – a shirt designed to have a similar effect as ‘swaddling a baby’. It helps to settle and reduce anxiety.
Create a ‘safe spot’ – most pets want to escape the thunderstorm. Creating a ‘safe spot’ will allow your pet to hide whenever it feels frightened.
Mutt Muffs - Ear muffs for dogs may help reduce the sound. Not all dogs will tolerate wearing them.
Owners’ attention – if your pet finds comfort in you hugging them tight, then this is a good thing to do.
Noise CDs – good for long term control.
Anti-anxiety medication – Your pet will need to be seen by a veterinarian first.