There are quite a handful of dogs and cats out there that are afraid when they hear the clap of thunder, the sound of the fourth of July fireworks, and some are afraid of the vacuum cleaner. Helping them through their phobias, instead of ignoring them tends to help with the bettering of them.
Signs of phobias (from healthypets.mercola.com)
- dilated pupils
- excessive sweating (from paws)
- rapid heartbeat
The dogs can sense the storm from miles away just by sniffing the air. There is no avoiding them but there are things you can do to help with the anxiety that they cause.
The money-less way to help with any phobia: First, find a safe place the dog/cat can go to when they feel afraid. If there is a basement in your house that will work best for a safe room. Just be sure to cover the windows with something to block out the sights of outside.
The ‘safe room’ should have a solid-sided crate, and leave the door open. It should also contain food, water, treats and toys. At the approach of a storm, turn on the lights in the room so any flashes of lightening that make it through the window coverings won’t be too obvious.” (source: healthypets.mercola.com)
If you don’t have a basement, try to console them in one of your rooms that you would consider a “safe room” for storms, be sure to stay with them though, that helps them feel safer. Also talking to them in a calm tone usually works. Playing some soft music when you know there is a storm on the horizon (or on the weather radar) that helps also. Usually a nice hug is all they need during the storm to help.
If the above doesn’t work:
Try a ThunderShirt ®, Anxiety Wrap ®, or Storm Defender ®, other idea on the website listed below, or see your local veterinarian and they might be able to prescribe you some medication for your dog or cat to help with the phobia.
If you prefer to go the natural way: lavender tends to help with phobias in the incense form, the oil form, the Glade Plug-In ®, and the cooked form. (do not allow your dog to ingest the oil, as it is poisonous).
I have a lovely recipe for dog treats that include lavender in them to help you with your dog’s phobias, the recipe can be found on my blog under the title “Lavender-Lemon Dog Treats”