Labrador retriever in rain is waiting under umbrella.

The storm season can be a great cause of pet anxiety -here are some simple tips to help take the edge off.

As the hot summer months approach, so too does storm season. If your dogs are anything like most (completely storm-phobic), you will be dreading the first storm that hits. Depending on your pet and their previous experiences, storm-phobia can range from slight phobias such as cowering in their beds, to complete anxiety ridden behaviour such as tearing down doors, destroying furniture and running away.

Every animal’s fear, (just like every person) is extremely different. This means that every coping technique should be tailored to meet the particular fear in question. There are a variety of techniques for helping take the edge off the fear that the Australian Summer storms can inflict. If you are looking for ideas on how best to combat your pets phobia, consider the following:

Cute puppy laying in a blue blanket with a teddy bear.

Make a ‘safe’ room where the animal feels safe and secure: Ultimately this would ideally be a room that is windowless or with covered windows such as a shower or bathroom. It can also be filled with treats, favourite blankets and positive reinforcements to make the safe place feel positive and relaxing.

Thundercoat: Storm jackets such as a ‘Thundercoat’ mimic the feeling of being held and swaddled like an infant. This creates a calming effect on the animal and helps to settle their anxiety.

Desensitisation techniques: These could include CDs of rain or even YouTube clips of storms and lightening. Doing this in a safe and controlled environment can promote positive reinforcements in the dogs mind when the real thing come along!

ash-chookBy trying even one – or all of these therapies – you can help your furry friend slowly overcome their storm phobia.  With consistency and patience you may even find yourself with a furry companion that is ultimately unaffected by summer storms in the future. As always – consult your veterinarian if you are seeking further help or advice on any of these therapies.