Storm phobia is a common problem among dogs and can be a painful experience for both dog and owner.
Dogs with storm phobia exhibit a variety of behaviors including shivering, gasping, walking around, hiding, and destructive behaviors. In severe cases, the dog may be injured or run away from home. While there are traditional treatments for storm phobia, many pet owners are turning to holistic treatments to help their dogs deal with the problem.
The exact cause of storm phobia in dogs is not fully understood, but is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some dogs are more prone to developing storm phobia, depending on their breed and temperament. Environmental factors, such as traumatic experiences during storms and exposure to loud noises, may also contribute to the development of storm phobia.
Comprehensive treatment for canine storm phobia focuses on addressing the underlying cause of the symptoms and promoting overall wellness. Here are some of the most effective comprehensive treatments for storm phobia in dogs.
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Behavior Modification is a holistic treatment that changes a dog’s behavior through positive reinforcement. In this treatment, praise your dog for calm behavior during a storm and gradually increase the intensity of the storm sounds. Over time, dogs learn to associate storms with positive experiences and become less fearful.
Herbal remedies such as valerian root, chamomile, and passionflower can help calm your dog during a storm. These herbs are naturally calming, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Additionally, there are herbal remedies such as Shen Karma and Jen Sing Sang that can help your dog calm down and cope with irritation.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to promote relaxation in dogs and reduce anxiety. Lavender, chamomile, and bergamot are some of the essential oils you can use to calm your dog during a storm. However, it is important to use high quality essential oils and dilute them properly before using them on your dog.
Massage therapy can help reduce anxiety in dogs and encourage relaxation. Massaging your dog’s muscles releases tension and encourages the release of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers. This treatment is especially effective when combined with aromatherapy.
Acupuncture is a comprehensive treatment that uses fine needles inserted into specific points on the body to promote healing and balance. This treatment can help reduce anxiety in dogs and help them relax. In some cases, inserting subcutaneous skin implants (small pieces of gold or titanium under the skin) at acupuncture points reduces responsiveness to thunderstorms by 70%.
Storm phobia is a common problem in dogs, but there are a number of holistic treatments that can help your dog deal with this condition.
However, it is important to consult your veterinarian before using these remedies on your dog. With proper treatment and support, a storm-phobic dog can learn how to deal with storms and live a happy, healthy life.
Mitzee Vargas of Orchid Springs Animal Hospital in Winterhaven is a Fellow of the American Society of Veterinary Acupuncture and author of Alt-Vet: The Revolutionary Pet Care and Longevity Solution.