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August 28th, 2006, 10:30 AM
We had a thunderstorm very early Sunday morning. The thunder and lightening woke me up. The boys usually sleep downstairs on the main floor. Lately we have been putting a baby gate to block them from going upstairs un-assisted at night as they have both slipped and we just don't want them to hurt themselves.

Well the storm woke me up and I immediately when downstairs to check on the boys who were in quite a state.

Dart not as much but Bailey was shaking and panting so hard I thought he was going to pass out.

So I just grabbed the blanket off the couch let Bailey sleep on the couch with me with Dart on the floor near me.

As soon as I did this they settled down and the storm eventually passed. Now however I'm worried that I coddled them and should have done something different.

I guess I just figured I would comfort a child who was scared, why not my dogs?

Should I do something different in future?

August 28th, 2006, 11:55 AM
I would have done the same thing. ;)

August 28th, 2006, 12:19 PM
Try to find balance between supporting them, and coddling their fears.

During storms some dogs do better in the close safety of their crates or in a bathroom in the center of the house. The bathroom is typically better insulated and they don't feel the intensity of the vibrations as much. Some dogs will jump into cars during storms - they feel safer there. In nature wolves (who don't like thunder either) go into the ground to feel safe.

I would recommend learning Tellington Touch. It is a form a of massage that you can use to calm an animal. I do it for my dogs when they seem fearful and it helps them to stop shaking. There is also a product out there called an 'anxiety wrap' - it is based on TTouch theory. It looks like a wet suit for dogs, but helps them to feel calm and safe.

August 28th, 2006, 12:43 PM
I've been dealing with this all summer, as one of my dogs became extremely stormphobic in the last year.
Personally, I think it's good not to do anything that will add to their perception that there is something scary going on, but at the same time I think staying close by while acting normal is fine.

There are lots of things you can try to help calm the dog's fear of thunder, and I would strongly recommend that you work on it now, rather than allowing it to escalate.
I know a few people who have have success with Quiet Moments, a herbal anti-anxiety formula or Holitistic Blend Herbal Calmer for Pets. Melatonin is also used for fear of storms. I think with all of these though, they are best used along with behavior modification.

Here is a good article on storm phobias in dogs: