Dog Thunder Anxiety

by another Gale who also loves dogs
(Arkansas, USA)

Hi I wanted to ask a question and share a partial solution I found to my dog's thunder anxiety.

My Blanca is 10 years old and she never had this kind of problem until we moved a little over a year ago. We're up in the mountains now. So, maybe there's a difference in barometric pressure or something. I don't know.

She's always been a tad nervous. But, never anything like this. One day it thundered while my husband and I were gone to work. We came home to find a number of books and papers shredded. And, she tore up a huge palm tree that my husband had had for about a dozen years! This potted palm weighed about 300 lbs and she managed to dig all the dirt out of the pot and cover the carpet with it. That's how upset she was.

I'll spare you the litany of all the things that didn't work. What does seem to help her calm down considerably is a vest called "Thunder Shirt". It wraps around the dog's chest, back and belly. It's made of a soft stretchy material that really hugs the body and is heavier than a t-shirt, but lighter than most doggie sweaters. I suppose it would be possible for someone who's craft oriented to duplicate it using their own materials instead of buying the "brand name".

Once I put it on her, she visibly calms down within minutes. What I wanted to ask about is around the same time we stumbled on to this, someone suggested we try Bach Flower Remedies. Have you ever heard of this or done this? I think it's kind of like homeopathic treatment, but I'm not sure that I understand how it works. (Or whether it works.) Any thoughts on this?

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Aug 15, 2011
Thunder Anxiety
by: Pata

We have 2 weimaraners, one sleeps totally through a thunderstorm the other starts chattering her teeth and looking at the ceiling 30 minutes before a storm. When the rain starts with thunder (we are in Florida lightning and thunder capital) she starts shaking so badly running for the bathroom or the garage, trancelike. The vet recommend and we do 20 mg valium and 2 squirts of Rescue Remedy. I hate using the valium so I am looking forward to the Thundercoat. My Annie was adopted from a Rescue so she had anxiety before but when the storm comes it is unbelievable.
I would do anything for my girls, Fluffy is the other one so I am going to investigate the Thundercoat today and maybe I can sleep through the night too!

Aug 16, 2010
More fireworks!
by: Iris Miller

Last night there were loud cannon shots, and Tuffy freaked out with loud high pitched barking, like screams. Come to find out, it was the town's 225th anniversary and they were having a big fireworks display just up the road on a farm on the top of our hill. I took Tuffy outside in my arms and kept reassuring him this was okay. I stood with him in my arms and enjoyed watching the fireworks while giving off a happy vibe and holding him snug. After the fireworks ended we stood outside and watched the train of cars descending the hill past our house. Tuffy thinks he owns the world, and especially our neighborhood,(matter of fact, he thinks he owns it all!) so, he stood like a little statue on the grass watching every single car go by. I imagine he is expecting company. So, this worked this time. On the fourth of July we stayed in our basement room that is windowless and it muffled the sounds so we did pretty well that night. I did not take him outside that time until all was quiet.
To the Neufie owner, keep a short leash, stay calm yourself so you dog won't sense fear or danger from you.
Iris and Tuffy

Aug 15, 2010
Bach Flower
by: Sheena

Hi There,

Regarding Back Flower, I did use with my dog in the past and it was completely safe--no side effects. I am unable to comment on how effective it was because we were also working with a trainer and other techniques.

I did jump on here to find some answers to a problem we ran into today. My 10 month old Newf loves his walks and is a pretty good walker for an adolescent. Today, a thunderstorm totally caught us by surprise as we were walking. A huge thunderclap went over top of us and he became crazy flight responsive. Thankfully we were pretty close to home and got back safely (110lb dog pulling for his life is hectic).

We just went for his night walk, as about five hours has passed from his previous walk/thunder experience. It was terrible. He went immediately into anxiety mode--which has NEVER happened until today, as a result of the thunder. I dont know what to do. He is too young to have this association with his walks--there wasnt even a loud noise that set it off.

ANY ideas are welcomed---the thunder vest isnt a great solution because he is now acting this way with his walks altogether.


Jul 29, 2010
Thunder Anxiety
by: Deborah

The most common Bach flower essences are a combo known as Rescue Remedy. It can be purchased at some health food stores or compounding pharmacy. Check with your vet before giving your dog anything. You can also do some online research about Rescue Remedy to find the appropriate dosage for your dog's weight. I use this for my collie, but it will not calm him greatly if he is really frightened.

Melatonin can also help calm anxiety. You can do a lot of online research about melatonin used to calm dogs with thunderstorm fear. Again, check with your vet before trying anything new. Dosage varies by weight, but you can find that info online also. Melatonin will not turn your dog into a zombie or make him sleepy, it just acts as anti-anxiety.

I hope this info has helped. :-)

Jul 01, 2010
Thunder, fireworks, natural remedies
by: IRIS

Hi all,
Last year we lived in a very quiet community so Tuffy did not hear any fireworks noise, This year we live in a different town on a very noisy road. The vibrations of the speeding trucks, cars and motorcycles shake the house, and Tuffy gets upset often. I try to stay as calm as possible to reassure him we are safe and it is not an invasion of our home. Sometimes I take him to the door and show him "no one is there".
I remember seeing an ad for that thunder coat but Tuffy does not like to be warm, he would be uncomfortable it something like that.
We went to the pet store and got a new engraved I.D. tag with our new address and phone number. Even though he has his implant and home again tag,
The neighbors started testing out their fireworks a week ago. Tuffy began showing all the symptoms you listed, but except for the losing potty control, he had the opposite, especially at night. refusing to go potty, he was so nervous about the noise.
He is clingy and growling at the door a lot. I am playing with him and taking more short walks to get him to calm down and release some energy. I wish I knew of a safe and effective tranquilizer. I m not so sure about the bach flower therapy, (dogs can also have allergies) .Even "natural" remedies can be harmful as I found out this Spring with all the new strange plants popping up in our yard. I went online to check what plants or food was safe and not safe for dogs. There are HUNDREDS to avoid!
So, if anyone out there in Coton land has a healthy effective calmative for my dog, please let me know! Meanwhile I am staying home with him, declining the 4th of July picnic invitations (no dogs allowed).I don't want to leave him alone
love and hugs,
Iris and Tuffy/

Dec 02, 2009
Bach Flower Remedy for Dog Thunder Anxiety
by: Gale (from Florida)

Hi Gale from Arkansas :)

Thank you so much for sharing your dog's thunder anxiety success story. I know so many of us feel helpless when our pets are scared or anxious and hopefully your success story with the thunder shirt will help others.

I had never heard of the Bach flower remedy before your question. I would love to hear from anyone else out there who has tried this. Since the product claims to be 100% safe, it seems like it may be worth trying.

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