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Scaredy Cat (or Dog) No More!
Many factors can aid in your pet's fear of summertime thunderstorms, including lightening, thunder, changes in air pressure or even the sound of pounding rain itself.
Signs of weather-related anxiety may include pacing, hiding under furniture, panting, whimpering, shivering, hissing and displaying hairs standing on end.
It is important to monitor your pet for these signs, as your pet could develop a phobia. A thunderstorm phobia can become progressively worse the more an animal is exposed, leading to undesirable behavior.
Phobia Prone Pets?
Some pets are more prone to phobias more than others. Studies have shown that pets suffering from separation anxiety may develop a phobia easier than those who do not. Pets are also likely to become afraid of similar sounds or environments that are associated with thunderstorms.
An example of this is your pet becoming afraid of the rain because he/she knows that rain is associated with a thunderstorm. However, there are things you can do as an owner to lessen worries and fears.
While the best solution may seem to be comforting your pet by petting, rubbing, and saying “It’s OK”, they are not! These actions actually confirm for your pet that there is something to be afraid of. Instead, try changing the environment of your pet, taking your pet into another room and even playing a game using their favorite toy.
By changing the scenery, your pet will become less aware of what is happening outside the door and start to associate thunderstorms with getting his/her favorite reward.
Try PetCalm ™ to soothe nervousness and promote calm and emotional balance in highly strung pets
Maybe your pet has already changed his or her environment by hiding under furniture or peeking out of that tiny space you never knew existed. Many pets like to climb into closets, bathtubs, and any enclosed space where they feel less threatened.
Don’t worry; your pet is just practicing self-preservation. During this time, your pet may become anti-social, or even display some aggression about you attempting to get them to come out by growling or hissing at you.
Remember, don't reinforce their fears by “overprotecting” them. The best thing to do is go about your business and express a calm, upbeat and in-charge attitude.
Try Aggression Formula ™ to promote relaxation, calm and normal social behavior, plus discourage aggression
Some pets may feel the need to vocalize their phobia through excessive barking or meowing, but punishing your pet will only enhance their anxiety. Efforts in training to quell these issues in the past may seem like a faint memory.
Reducing or blocking the noise from a thunderstorm can help to calm your pet. Turning on music, television, or even running a fan will calm nerves and quiet abrupt cries.
Use normal volume on a T.V. or radio when blocking thunderstorm noise; you may even want to put them in a room that does not have outside walls.
Try Problem Pet Solution™ to reduce excessive barking, meowing and to help support good behavior in cats and dogs.
Fear of thunderstorms is a common problem among pets, but keeping your pet calm and comforted doesn’t have to mean coddling their anxiety. By exuding confidence, calmness and using simple techniques, you are letting your pet know that there is nothing to fear when a rain cloud is overhead.
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