I love thunderstorms. There’s nothing more enjoyable than curling up under a blanket with a cup of chamomile tea, watching an old black-and-white movie and listening to the rain rap on the windows and thunder boom in the distance. My dog, on the other hand, feels differently.
Not long after adopting Lola, I came home during a storm to find her huddled up in a corner of the closet, under a pile of clothes. I took this as a call for, “Help me, Mama. Make it stop!” Here’s what I’ve learned…
After that traumatic episode, I now know to keep an eye on the weather report if she’s left alone for any length of time on a stormy day. Before leaving the house, I add a couple drops of Bach Flower Remedies Rescue Remedy to her water to help reduce her stress and tension.
I’ve also learned that creating a safe area – a crate, bathroom or closet – is extremely helpful. When setting this up, be sure to include lots of blankets, pillows and a dog bed to help your pup feel snug and secure.
When at home:
The best course of action is distraction. I play with Lola and give her something to think about other than the thunder. The idea (I’m hoping) is she’ll learn to associate storms with playtime. The Hartz DuraPlay is a great way to keep dogs occupied. And my dog has never met a Kong toy she didn’t love. She’s particularly fond of the Classic Kong Toy when I squirt some Kong Stuff’N Treat Paste inside. I’m always impressed with how long the treat paste keeps her mind entertained and off of the storm!
Aside from stuffing a Kong, there are treats specifically made to induce a feeling of calm. Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Chews aim to reduce anxiety without causing drowsiness. If your pup isn’t the only four-legged creature cowering during a storm, NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Soft Chews can be given to both dogs and cats. Worried about weight gain? NaturVet also makes an Herbal Calming Spray for dogs, which uses scents to sooth your worried pup.
Have any calming secrets of your own? Leave them in the comments below!