Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Thunderstorm fears

I hope you’re having a wonderful February day!  I know that spring is on the way because we’ve been having all kinds of mixed weather.  Earlier this week we had a winter weather advisory.  Yesterday we had spring-like weather.  And, today, just to make things interesting, we’ve had some rousing thunder boomers off and on all day!  A couple of my poor dogs have been shaking and running for cover.  To be honest, one of the crashes was so loud it sounded like we were under attack.  I was looking for a place to hide myself.


2425150005_5b79f2f56e_mBeau and I, being Pisces, seem to be particularly affected by these storms.  (I’m just kidding.  I have no idea if astrological signs have anything to do with it.)  I think we can both feel the storms coming because of the drop in pressure.  I get a sinking feeling in my head and that’s when Beau usually comes to find me.  If I don’t do anything for him he’ll be shaking and shivering — whether from fear or with physical symptoms, I don’t know.  I can get migraines from the pressure drops before bad storms.  So, to save us both these problems I have learned to take preemptive action.  I give Beau a couple of valerian capsules and take a couple for myself.  Valerian is an herb that’s often taken to help people sleep or relax.  I’m not a vet so I’m not going to give dosages.  This is simply what has worked for us.  Please talk to your vet before giving your dog any herbal supplement.  You can find valerian in any Walmart or drugstore in the aisle with herbal supplements.  The valerian does help Beau relax enough so that he can usually sleep through a storm.  I also spend time petting him and I’ll put him up on the bed with me if things get very bad.  (That’s not easy to do because he’s around 90 pounds and he doesn’t do any of the jumping himself.)


Other people use one of the Bach Flower Essences to deal with problems brought on by storms and loud noises.  Some dogs may be reacting to the noise of thunder while others may react to the drop in barometric pressure, so you may have to try different flower essences to see what works for your dog.  Many dogs respond positively to peppermint oil placed on their paw pads and other pressure points.  With other dogs Rescue Remedy is preferred.  If you are buying a flower essence in a store rather than online the herbalist in the store may be able to help you choose the best product for your dog.


Please remember that although herbs and other supplements may be “natural” that does not mean that they are necessarily safe.  Many things found in nature may be poisonous.  Even beneficial plants may become toxic when not taken as directed.  So, please be careful with any herb or supplement for yourself or your pet.


For dogs who are reacting to the drop in barometric pressure there is a product that is designed like a tube top for dogs.  It’s called the StormDefender Cape.  The theory behind this item is that the wrap prevents static electricity from building up next to the dog’s skin and coat, so the dog feels better during the storm.  Believe it or not, people who have tried this product say that it works.  You can make something similar for your dog at home using an actual human tube top or a T-shirt and securing it tightly around your dog’s body.  It needs to be tightly secured to get the feel of the tube top and prevent the build up of static electricity.


Some dogs have actual thunderstorm phobias.  If your dog becomes violent during storms or reacts so badly that he may hurt himself or others, you may need to consult your vet about the problem.  He or she may talk to you about prescribing a mild sedative to help your dog get through storms.  This would be a last resort but it would be better than having your dog harm himself or being wild with fear.


Hopefully we can move smoothly into a lovely spring without too many bad thunderstorms or problems with tornadoes.  Remember to plan ahead for your dog so you will have some of these preventives on hand.  Most of them can be found in your local drugstore or herb shop.


February 18, 2009 - Posted by | dogs, General, Pets | , , , , ,

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