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Thunderstorms, hurricanes, windstorms, the fourth of July and tornadoes make storm phobia a particularly difficult fear to treat in pets, and for owners whose pets exhibit these fears, it can be equally distressing. Not only do the pets show signs of nervousness (pacing, panting, chewing and drooling), they will also display behavioral signs (hiding, owner seeking, trembling, vocalizing, trying to escape and destruction), which can be even more upsetting, and even dangerous, as phobic dogs have been known to break through screen doors or windows in an attempt to escape, causing serious injury to themselves.
Here are a few tips from HomeoPet to keep your pet safe and calm:
1. Leave your pets at home and indoors. Most pets are afraid of storms and may try to run away.
2. Close all doors and windows and put on background music to muffle the sound.
3. Close curtains and blinds to block the lightning.
4. Be sure that your pets are wearing identification tags or have microchips in case they do run away or get lost.
5. Try to distract your pet with chew toys and games, or play with another pet that does not share his fear.
6. If you have time, desensitization techniques with appropriate sound CD's, such as thunder, fireworks, trains, sirens, etc. may help pets get used to the sounds at a lower volume, then they become more comfortable, gradually increase the volume.
7. If your pet has storm phobias, speak to your veterinarian about a veterinary only, non-sedating medication.