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My dogs get scared during thunderstorms, but I've found the solution...

Posted by susano on

When my brother was in college, he got himself a sweet golden retriever puppy and named him Cromwell.  Cromwell grew into a beautiful, highly intelligent, and awfully sweet dog who, as is often the case with college kids’ pets, wound up living at my parents’ house.  He became my dad’s constant and most beloved companion, truly this man’s best friend.  The first thing Dad did in the morning was take his buddy for a walk, and this was the first thing they did when he got home from work as well.

During the day, Cromwell had a huge backyard in which to romp and play, and at night, he laid claim to the basement.  It was pretty nice down there, with a guest room, bathroom, and a large den with a television and a bar.  Dad was so attached to Cromwell that he started sleeping in the guest room so he could be with his best buddy all night.  The two were inseparable, and life was good. Mom didn’t even mind his move to the basement because she appreciated the joy that my Dad got from spending so much time with his cherished pet.

Cromwell suffered from great anxiety that was triggered whenever there was a change in the pressure; particularly during thunderstorms, and it only got more severe as he got older.  Before we were even aware that a storm was coming, his keen dog senses alerted him, and he’d begin to panic.  He would wedge himself between the couch and the wall, crawl under the bed, do whatever he could to make himself feel closed in and safe.  If that had been the extent of it, it wouldn’t have been that big an issue, but it got to the point that those places weren’t good enough, and he started digging, trying to create a hole in which to hide.

His digging frenzies ripped up the carpet in every room, tore apart the pillows and cushions on the couch.  There are even places where he scratched up the walls.  What once had been a nice basement was totally trashed.  It was heartbreaking to watch him suffer like that, and our veterinarian began prescribing him tranquilizers to help him remain calm during the storms.  We hated to put our dog on drugs, but it was the only option available at the time that eased his immense stress.

When we heard about the Thundershirt last year, we were really excited to find this safe alternative to drugs and added it to our product line immediately. It works by applying constant and gentle pressure that makes your dog feel safe and secure, and has been recommended by thousands of trainers and veterinarians.  It helps keep dogs from barking so much, from pulling on a leash, with separation anxiety, and lots of other things that cause trepidation in your dog.  It’s amazing to see how effective simply putting on this garment is in putting your dog at ease.

My own dog, Cassidy, is pretty laid-back, and I have counted myself lucky for the past six years that she hasn’t shown any signs of storm or noise related anxiety, except to bark whenever she hears (or thinks she hears) a knock at the door.  This has all changed in recent months, however, and storms have become troublesome for her.   If there is even the slightest hint of rain, she follows me around so closely that I have to be careful not to trip over her.  She’s started pressing herself against the door in the kitchen and seems afraid to move; she won’t even look up when I talk to her and it’s hard to get her to move if you need to get through the door.  At night, she cries until we let her into her room, when she has always slept in the den in her own bed up to now.   So, we have ordered a Thundershirt for her, and can’t wait for it to arrive!  We just had a HUGE storm here yesterday and this time of year, there are bound to be more to come.  I can’t wait to try it out and report back about how it worked!

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