Dog Storm Phobias
When a pet exhibits fearful and anxious behavior during thunderstorms, this is referred to as “storm phobia.” Signs range from mild (panting, pacing, drooling, hiding, whining) to extreme (urine/stool accidents in the house or destruction of property—such as chewing out of a kennel or breaking through a window in an attempt to escape). Cats may also experience storm phobia, but since they usually just go and hide, this often goes unnoticed. Storm phobia is a form of noise phobia. Dogs that are afraid of storms can express fear of fireworks, gunshots, or other loud noises as well.
Mild storm phobia can sometimes be managed without the use of medication.
Many dogs that suffer from storm phobia cannot be effectively consoled with non-medical methods. Dogs that have storm phobia may benefit from receiving Composure, a calming supplement containing tryptophan and milk casein protein in a tasty non-sedating oral chew by VetriScience. Those pets that are anxious in general (not only during thunderstorms) may benefit from receiving Composure on a daily basis (it can be given on either a daily or as needed basis).
Oral prescription medications, such as alprazolam, may also be necessary during times of increased stress. The main side effect is sedation. When alprazolam is given, try not to give it with food containing fat (such as butter or peanut butter) since this delays onset of the calming effect. Always start at the lower end of the dosage range and work your way up only if necessary.
Please ask us any questions you have on storm phobias.