Storm Anxiety in Pets
The pets in my house live like royalty. They are extremely loved and valued members of our house. Even if your canine friend does not have a personal bed in every room in the house, you never want to see them fearful or anxious. Recent research indicates that dogs can feel emotions like humans and can develop psychological phobias and conditions like canine storm anxiety.
Fear can be beneficial in instances of self-preservation. During a storm, fear can prompt a dog to seek shelter. Of course, when your dog is safe inside and protected by you and your family the fear begins to seem irrational.
There are several reasons dogs may develop storm anxiety. A dog’s hearing is much better than that of a human so a loud crack of thunder to you is amplified for your dog. Some dogs can be sensitive to other noises such as fireworks, thunder, or even a loud blender. Lightning, rain, wind, and thunder can all contribute to your dog’s fear and anxiety.
Dogs cannot express their feelings in words, so they must use their body and behavior to communicate. Due to a dog’s superior sense of smell and hearing they may detect change in the weather before you and begin to act abnormally long before visible signs of a storm occur.
Symptoms of storm anxiety include:
Lowered ears and tail, wide eyes
Panting and drooling
Whining or howling
Involuntary indoor urination
Destructive behavior or even self-harm (i.e., clawing to escape, running away)
Unfortunately, there is no cure for your furry friend who suffers from storm anxiety. While the habit of panicking at loud noises can be easily formed, it takes a lot of time and patience to reverse the habit.
Behavior modification and desensitization can be the best methods of helping your dog. Behavior modification is a process of rewarding calm positive behaviors while discouraging bad habits. Playing recordings of loud thunder and storms at a low volume to your dog in small time increments can slowly desensitize them.
For help cleaning up after a storm, do no hesitate to call SERVPRO of Southern Trumbull County. We are storm damage experts and only a quick phone call away. Give us a call today or send us a message via our Facebook page. (330) 392 6355