Dogs who freak-out during storms, fireworks, and airborne events like the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta have true phobias. There’s nothing logical about these fears. Just like humans with unfounded anxieties, these pets need special consideration. Hiding, trembling, and nervous panting indicate serious misery. Kindness is called for in big doses. These poor dogs are in survival mode, worried that their heads might explode.
To make a serious difference for your dog you’ll need to be proactive. Watch the weather forecast so you can let her out to relieve herself before the aerial assault. A comfortable face covering, called a Thunder Cap, can make this easier by reducing your dog’s distance vision.
An indoor mind-bending experience can be prevented by lowering the blinds and playing relaxing classical music. Or you can download scientifically developed music called Through a Dog’s Ear. It’s meant just for dogs.
Most phobic dogs associate the electrical charges in the air with impending overwhelm. Many find comfort in the exposed plumbing behind a toilet. An indoor metal feed trough has become a safe haven for some storm phobic dogs.
Relaxed leadership can make a big difference. Sit calmly with your dog and breathe slowly from the tummy. Feel the kindness flowing through. Dogs watch their person for behavioral cues. Your peaceful presence will help. Never force a wigged-out pet outside to face his fears and don’t let anybody point and laugh. Harsh treatment would only intensify the despair he already associates with all that mayhem.
There’s a faster acting, easy-to-give treatment called Sileo, that’s meant specifically for noise phobic dogs. Available in a gel, it will calm your nervous Nellie without sedation.
I hope you find this information useful. You’re welcome to send this video anywhere you want. Feel free to share it with your pet-loving friends. If their dogs freak-out with loud noises or celestial monsters, they’ll be glad for the advice.
Each week I share a short video, a podcast, or a blog to help bring out the best in pets. You can sign up at no charge on my website, drjeffnichol.com. When you do, I’ll send you my free at-home pet first aid and CPR guide.
Thanks for watching. I’m Dr. Jeff Nichol.