NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When our big Texas storms approach, are your furry friends the first to panic? According to WbMD, storm phobia is very real and should be taken seriously.
Loyal masters are often awaken in the middle of the night – not from the thunder – but from the uninvited pet jumping in the bed looking for comfort from the storm.
According to WebMD, cases of storm phobia in pets can be much more severe and should not be ignored. They say some pets have been known to “claw through drywall, chew carpets, or break through windows in their escalating panic.”
“Most of the time they don’t grow out of it on their own, and many will get worse with time if nothing is done,” Matt Peuser, DVM, a veterinarian at Olathe Animal Hospital in Kansas told WebMD.
The ‘how’ and ‘why’ is not clearly understood but, according to WebMD the dogs may be “set off by some combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static electricity and low-frequency rumble preceding a storm that humans can’t hear.”
WebMD says there are not easy fixes but there are some ways to ease the stress your furry friend feels including “rewarding calm behavior year-round” and making sure the dog has a safe place of their own to go during a storm.
WebMD says snug-fitting garments can have a calming effect – much like swaddling a baby – but they stress that the success with this method is anecdotal.
Experts also recommend playing a CD of thunder recordings (at low levels that don’t scare your pup) while giving treats or playing can also help.
As always when it comes to the health of your pet, you should ask your vet for advice. According to WebMD, “The doctor may have more ideas for behavior modification and can assess whether medication may also be needed.”
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