Fear of thunderstorms is common in dogs and the reason’s for this can be many and varied. Being left outside with little or no shelter, the loud noises associated with thunder itself and the heightened senses of a dog can all contribute to this behaviour.
Dogs can become anxious about on coming storms long before we are aware of them. Their senses detect atmospheric changes as a storm approaches well before we experience the storms onset.
Unfortunately, this behaviour generally becomes worse, not better, with repeated exposure and the symptoms can range from mild where the dog may have it’s tail down, tremble and hide under something to severe where the dog will try to escape from the backyard in an effort to runaway from the storm or be too afraid to go outside for hours after the storm has passed.
One method of relieving the symptoms of anxiety in pets is a technique called “controlled pressure” which helps to calm the sensory receptors. Used properly it has been shown to lower anxiety in situations including fear of loud noises, thunderstorm, dog aggression, car sickness and unnecessary barking.
Pressure wraps are like putting a snug fitting T-shirt on your pet. Once on it applies slight pressure across a wide area of the body which stimulates the dog’s receptor’s that transmit different sensations to the brain. The theory behind this suggests that as the animal receives this new information, it's awareness and focus changes. The result is the animal lets go of the old sensations that where bringing on the anxiety and it becomes calmer.
According to neurobiologists, many types of trauma can cause nerve damage in dogs with the result being exaggerated responses to stimuli such as loud noises. The constantly maintained pressure from a body wrap allows the dog to relax and calm in these situations.
Animal behaviourist Dr Temple Grandin explores the use of pressure and wraps to calm animals down in her book “Making animals happy”. She likens this to the simular technique of swaddling newborn babies to settle them.
The “Thundershirt” is now available from our store. The most effective way to use it is to place it on your pet 30 minutes or so before the dog may be in an anxious situation. Once the situation has passed, the Thundershirt can be removed. For more information, call us at the store on 48621175. All of our Thundershirts come with a 30 day money back satisfaction guarantee.