Options for Dogs with Storm Phobias

Fear of storms is a debilitating issue for many dogs and just as distressing for their owners. Evidence shows that there may be a genetic predisposition and many suffers have other anxiety problems eg separation anxiety. Signs of panic may include hiding, escaping, panting, shaking, barking, whining, drooling, pacing, destruction and self harm in an attempt to escape, urinating, defecating and extreme excitement or immobility. Some dogs may show signs of anxiety to any hint that a storm is coming such as wind, dark skies, first signs of lightning, dropping barometric pressure and light rain.

This is not a normal response and tends to get worse with time rather than better. Early intervention before the problem becomes extreme is very valuable. At no time should punishment or attempts to distract them be used as it will just make the situation worse.

Bulldog Watercolour Tuggeranong Vet Hospital

What options are available?

Although this can be a difficult problem to treat and life long therapy may be required a combination of medication and other therapies will bring some relief.

See also Using Short Acting Medication for Storm Phobias.

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