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  1. #1
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default "I love thunderstorm season!" said no dog owner ever!

    We have an 8 year old Golden who really, really does not like thunderstorms. He isn't destructive, just paces and pants and shakes and tries to fit into places that he can't, wedges himself behind us if we're sitting on the couch, tries to wedge himself underneath us if we're sleeping...

    We bougth him a Thundercoat, and while that does seem to help with the very mild storms (like when you can barely hear the grumbling of the thunder), it does nothing for the ones that you can REALLY hear.

    We have a prescription for Xanax for him (we tried ace, and all that did was wind him up more and made him very antsy, then when the storm ended, he slept for hours ).

    I would like not to have to drug him every time, and obviously this method is only ideal if I can drug him about an hour before the storm starts...which is almost impossible because I'm not always home then, and I don't want to drug him "just in case" and then have it not storm at all.

    Has anyone fed a daily calming supplement that helps to take the edge off throughout thunderstorm season?

    The cattle dog couldn't care less about the storms no matter how loud and gets annoyed at the Golden for keeping him awake
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  2. #2
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    Dec. 29, 2012
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    La La Land
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    Default

    We had an old dog we recently lost, that was the same way. I came home to find the music blasting in the house loud as a rock concert. It seems the dog didnt mind the storms as much or not at all when the music or TV was blasting. This worked for us because we are very rural and didnt have to worry about noise complaints. Not so great for middle of the night storms.
    I agree drugging does not help. I feel for you, this is tuff to deal with, and hard to watch them go through. Good luck, and hope you find a solution.



  3. #3
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    Yes, if we are home, we will either turn the TV up or the radio up, and it does seem to help drown out the noise of the storm. Not a good middle of the night option, but works when we are home and not trying to sleep

    Also, during the day if the weather is calling for storms, we will leave the radio on while we are at work.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  4. #4
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    We were going to try Rescue Remedy, but then I happened upon this:

    http://voices.yahoo.com/review-dont-...y-2563999.html

    I'm not sure the author is a valid contributor, but that is one story out there in any case. It's cheap enough, maybe we'll give it a try and see.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  5. #5
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    Feb. 14, 2012
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    Fern Creek, KY
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    Default

    Does he have a 'den' he can hide in when you aren't home? Like a crate with a sheet over it in a closet or something. Then at least he can feel safe and secure when nobody is home with him.

    We used to give our anxious hound calming treats from Pet Naturals of Vermont when we left because he would go nuts and destroy...everything. (link: http://www.petnaturals.com/index.php...il&p=700864021) Or trainer swore by them, and we did see a fairly large improvement in his anxiety. They also help our JRT during the dreaded toenail clipping. Might be worth a shot!



  6. #6
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    Yes, he has a crate that is covered in a dark blanket, but he doesn't like to use it (and locking him in it just makes him worse). He prefers to try to wedge himself under the end table by the couch, behind our shoe rack (which is smaller then him so not much coverage there...) anywhere he doesn't really fit that well.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  7. #7
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Have you tried melatonin? You'll have to google for the dose, but it works for my cocker and collie. Collie gets a full 3mg tablet, cocker gets 1/2 tablet.
    Join the Clinton 2016 campaign...Hillary For America. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    It's tougher when it's an adult dog, but sometimes redirecting works with adults too. I always always "train" new pups to like thunderstorms. Every time it even rumbles a bit outside, I grab handfuls of little treats and start bouncing around, using the squeaky-high play voice and play like heck with them while randomly giving them little tidbits. The louder the thunder gets, the more rambunctious the play to distract and redirect energy. It works with most pups and has worked with a few adults, but some are just going to hate thunderstorms no matter what. The downside to teaching them storms are fun is that I've had more than one dog go bananas-happy and get the zoomies every time it stormed outside, LOL! When you've only had big dogs it's a bit "exciting" to have them charge ad leap on you with a toy starts thundering outside.
    You jump in the saddle,
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    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  9. #9
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    Feb. 19, 2004
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    New Hampshire
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    Ugh I feel your pain. Last night I was happily sleeping away when a storm came in and Jack my Lab started up, he barks during thunder storms. It's very annoying. You can't get him to shut up. The other two dogs just cuddled up closer to me and stayed asleep. Got back to sleep when another storm rolled in and the barking started again. *sigh* He hates fireworks too. Usually on the fourth of July I have the TV blaring for him. He likes to go outside and hide under that stairs.
    Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

    Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.



  10. #10
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    May. 16, 2013
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    Libertytown, MD
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    Great thread title

    We have just moved from WI to MD, so not much change in the thunderstorms, but the younger dog was quite unsettled by the move & thunderstorms became scarier for him. We bought the thunder shirt. Hasn't cured him but has helped. We also made him a nest, & I subsequently found these fantastic dog tents at the CVS drugstore for the whopping price of $9.99! That, along with a fleece rig & a cushion to hide behind has really helped. Amazon & overstock sell them for about $20. We now have really gone to town & have one upstairs, beside our bed, & one downstairs in the kitchen. Obviously they offer zero real protection, but to him, it makes all the difference

    http://www.overstock.com/Pet-Supplie...2/product.html


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  11. #11
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    We have tried:

    ignoring him (if we are sleeping already, he digs at the bedroom door to get in, adn then if we let him in, he tries to "hide" underneath us in the bed or burrows under our pillows...this is not condusive to a good night's sleep...)

    Thundershirt

    Ace - just made him extremely antsy until the storm ended, then he fell asleep for hours

    Xanax - works if we can get it into him ahead of time, but this isn't always possible and I don't want to have to drug him just in case

    We have tried distracting him by playing but no go there. He prefers to just pace, pant, and hide.

    He actually is BETTER if we are outside during a storm, and his annoying behaviors are much less...he doesn't get as anxious if we are outside. Obviously though, this is not an option!!!
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  12. #12
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    Jan. 24, 2013
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    197

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    I use a thundershirt. My guy likes to hide in my shower stall, so I close all the windows and blinds in my bedroom and turn on the radio. I got the thundershirt after I found that wrapping him up in a big blanket seemed to help.



  13. #13
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    Sep. 5, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    We were going to try Rescue Remedy, but then I happened upon this:

    http://voices.yahoo.com/review-dont-...y-2563999.html

    I'm not sure the author is a valid contributor, but that is one story out there in any case. It's cheap enough, maybe we'll give it a try and see.
    Actually, I DID have limited success with "Rescue Remedy" for my unbelievably thunderstorm-berserk Husky (like trying to hurl herself through plate-glass windows berserk). And since she wouldn't have any inkling of the "placebo" theory, I can only surmise that it DID work. The biggest problem was that you had to administer it to the dog (I just put a few drops on a dog cookie) well in advance of the storm, & too often the storms just came up too quickly. So even though I'd still give her the "Rescue Remedy", I also crated her & covered her crate with a large sheet.

    Tried several pharmaceuticals via my vet, but the benefits weren't much better than the RR, & had the unfortunate side effect of making her a peeing machine for days afterwards.



  14. #14
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    I am pretty sure (not 100%) that Rescue Remedy can safely be given daily?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  15. #15
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    Aug. 12, 2010
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    Default

    We're fortunate in that ours aren't too bad. The ACD/JRT mix could care less, she's not afraid of ANYTHING. The BC mix is a bit more worried...she'll pace a bit and move from bed to bed, as if she can't get comfortable, but no out of control panting or shaking. She settles down once she locates the ACD/JRT and sleeps right next to her. The ACD/JRT is 16, I'm a bit concerned with the BC mix's sense of security when the brave old dog is no longer here.



  16. #16
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    Jul. 17, 2005
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    Atlanta, GA
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    Default

    Fortunately ace works for mine! She only needs 1/2 a tablet, at 50lbs or so. The dosage is 1 - 4, so the first time I gave her 2, and she was so drunk she couldn't walk! It IS a pain having to give it to her in advance though.

    I don't have much to contribute because I haven't solved it either. She's better now that she's lived through several with the drugs, but she still paces and whines. Makes me feel bad.
    Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

    Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010



  17. #17
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    He gets worse as he gets older too.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  18. #18
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    Jul. 17, 2005
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    Atlanta, GA
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    Mine was too, and that's what prompted me to get the drugs!

    I don't do needles, which is why I have the ace tablets. Obviously if you could do something injected it would be faster acting. But then you'd be limited to whoever could give shots.
    Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

    Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010



  19. #19
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    Mar. 11, 2005
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    I haven't read all the way through, so forgive me if this has already been suggested. Have you thought about melatonin? The studies done on its effectiveness against noise anxiety in dogs were actually done by the Golden community. My dogs have no issues with thunder, the old man doesn't give a rip about fireworks anymore (he's deaf now), but I use melatonin when I know the young dog will be in a loud, chaotic, scary-to-him situation and it works. He's still reactive to commands and active, just not completely tripped out by the mess going on around him.

    ETA: I see LauraKY suggested melatonin after successful results, too. Might want to give it a try! Heaven knows it's cheap, too!
    Last edited by Kenike; May. 22, 2013 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Added info and typo
    "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


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  20. #20
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    Jul. 13, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    We have tried distracting him by playing but no go there. He prefers to just pace, pant, and hide.
    I feel your pain, my dog does the same thing. I tried Rescue Remedy and the Thundershirt, and they both seemed to have a long-term effect. After using them a few times, she seemed to get less upset. She was originally shuddering with fear, repeated waves of deep, hard shaking, which scared the heck out of me because it seemed like something that could actually hurt her. That eased off with the Thundershirt and RR. What calmed her the most was being allowed to find and be close to her beloved cat.

    One good thing about age - she's a little deaf now, and not as sensitive to the thunder. I realize they're supposedly reacting to the pressure drop, but I'd swear she's now sleeping through things that would have had her up and pacing a few years ago.



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