Why Does My Dog... Panic During Storms?

Look into calming pressure wraps. Similar to baby swaddle blankets, these shirts and coats help to reduce anxiety by enabling dogs to feel snug. “It’s the equivalent of giving your pet a remote hug when you can’t be there,” says Dr. Sueda. Some versions have a lining that combats static electricity, which some experts believe contributes to storm anxiety. Just be sure to discuss this option with your veterinarian first, and take care to ensure that your pet won’t get overheated in the garment.

Consider a natural calming product. A dog appeasing pheromone (D.A.P.) is designed to help reduce stress levels by mimicking naturally calming and comforting pheromones. A plug-in diffuser can gradually release the pheromone over a month, or you can spritz the product when the forecast calls for thunderstorms. Another option: Speak to your vet about calming treats that contain anti-anxiety nutraceuticals like tryptophan, L-theanine, vitamin B1 or colostrum complex. “I find that they are best [when] given prior to the storm or onset of anxiety,” says Dr. Sueda.

If these at-home strategies and tools don’t do the trick, talk to your vet about other treatment options, such as working with a veterinary behaviorist or trying a short-term anti-anxiety medication for a dog who has a severe reaction, like destructive chewing.

These measures can help reduce anxiety, prevent self-injury and improve a dog’s — and owner’s — quality of life.

More on Vetstreet:

Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!