CVS has melatonin. Be careful with dosage - for obvious reasons but also because people I know have a threshold - and everyone's is difference - where it goes from being a sedative type affect to a stimulant. For my boyfriend, he takes 2 to go to sleep (forget the mg) but if he takes 3 he is completely wired.
My parent's golden is the same way! He is diagnosed PTSD after a boarding kennel flooded while the folks were on vacation (it was awful. now we never board our pets and all have reliable families who take them if we leave town) and does the exact same thing except he is always trying to get up on to things (presumably because he doesn't want water to rise) Poor baby. The only thing that's worked is getting wrapped up in my parent's bed. He will burrow in the covers and seems to finally go to sleep, but not after some shaking and crying. He is 10 years old now.
You can buy it any any grocery or drug store in the vitamin section. Generally, it's 3mg/tab as that's the most accepted adult dose. Let me see if I can find the verbage on dosing for dogs (always start low!)....
"IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique
Melatonin is sold in capsules and tablets in health food stores, pharmacies and some supermarkets. It is sold in doses as low as 200 micrograms (mcg.). For most dogs, Aronson prescribes 3 milligrams (mg.) In a few cases, dogs weighing over one hundred pounds needed 6 mg. but that was unusual. Aronson usually gives dogs that weigh less than 30 pounds, 1.5 mg. Although they have not treated any phobic really tiny dogs, Aronson would reduce the dosage further for them. It's important to read the labels on melatonin bottles very carefully. Some are mixed with herbs or nutrients that may not be safe for dogs. Make sure you buy the correct dosage for your size dog. Remember, there are 1,000 micrograms (mcg.) in a milligram (mg.) so a 200 mcg. pill contains only 1/15 of the amount recommended for a large dog.
Rather than post the whole write-up, this site has a great read from the AVMA journal that highlighted Dr. Aronson's study:
Hi - you mention the Thundercoat. But have you tried distraction training as well?
My older BC is thunder-phobic. Stuff the noise, she reacts on the air pressure change which precedes the thunderstorm.... or not, sometimes it is just rain .
After reading about them on COTH, I tried a thundercoat and it cut enough to give her a rest up until 10kms away (it took a couple of storms for her to get the idea). I then read on FB about distraction training - so, next storm, I put her into the TC and then started very precise heel work. Very Very Very precise heel work - including Arecalls, recalls, complex turns etc - with a tennis ball in my hand. My older BC is very toy obsessed which helps . Now, she barely reacts unless they are large and immediately over-head.
If you want a little chemical help, I also have had a great success with "dog appeasing phereomes" - both the collar (for my little timid BC) and the diffuser (for another dog that is thunder-phobic, rain-phobic etc)
Last edited by RaeHughes; May. 23, 2013 at 10:59 PM.
Reason: Ran off to a meeting and didnt finish the post.
I've tried Rescue Remedy with my 4 year old pit Ace and it seems to help him somewhat. He doesn't shake or pace as much but as I'm typing this he's hiding his head under the bed when he heard the thunder. He only comes out when he hears me talking to my mom on the phone
I can't comment on Rescue Remedy for dogs, but I used to have the WORST anxiety, especially in my first years of University taking exams.... it does work, not 100% but it really helps to take the edge off and can be taken right before the anxiety inducing event (waiting outside the exam room worked for me). And my anxiety used to make me very physically sick (think every digestive issue combined with that nervous-vibrating inside type feeling). I can assure you that no placebo would have worked for the anxiety I used to experience!
Also, Royal Canin/Medi-Cal makes a Calm Diet that might help during thunderstorm season?
So far, our miniature schnauzer puppy doesn't display any negative reactions to thunderstorms - and we have had several! I hope this trend continues, as I have pet-sat for people whose dogs were maniacal during storms!
Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. W. C. Fields
I've used RR personally and if it is a placebo effect it has worked admirably on me.
Once when I fell off a galloping horse and once when I got bitten by a dog - both administered after the event, and both worked instantly. The person who administered it to me made me a convert and I have a bottle in my car in case of accidents.
When the dog bit me it was under the table and Thanksgiving diner was about to be served - Blood everywhere. I went into the bathroom so as not to cause a fuss and was putting on some Band-Aids. My appetite had gone and I was feeling shockey.
Knock, knock, knock, the dog's owner came in and in moments I was back at the table hungry as all get out.
Re the article - who knows the source or the validity.
Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique
have you tried putting your dog in the bathtub? many people speculate that a lot of the weird behaviors storm-phobic dogs exhibit are not due to the noise but to the charged atmosphere, and putting the dog somewhere where the dog is grounded is very calming to them.
this is supposed to be an improvement on the thundershirt- it combines the calming wrap with a defense against static electricity. Don't know anyone who has tried one:
one of the really weird things about dog thunderstorm phobia is it seems to have a late onset- many a person has had their dog happily live through thunderstorms for years, and then suddenly develop it. I believe the average age of onset is said to be 7 years of age, with herding breeds tending to have earlier age of onset vs. other types of dogs.
My vet recommended DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone). It is distributed by a company called Ceva. It is a spray that you rub on their fur that is supposed to mimic the pheromone that a mother puts off while nursing pups. We had mild success with a combo of the Thundershirt, DAP and Benadryl. Unfortunately the best cure ended up to be getting a second dog. Not exactly the most practical solution.