Tara is now 10 years old and is used to live on Pender Island (West Coast of Canada). She slept through many storms, heavy winds and rain with no problem. Until recently she started becoming very anxious.
A few month ago, we had a strong storm at night. The wind was howling and the rain was pouring. Her panting woke me up. It was so loud I thought she was having difficulty breathing. When I turned the light on, she was bracing herself on her bed with an extremely tense body, I could see in her eyes she was really scared.
I was not sure what to do. Nothing would comfort her. It was like she was in trance and nothing around her existed anymore but plain fear. I am not even sure she recognized me.
She was so tensed I could not even put a T-Shirt on her. I started hugging her from behind really hard and I could feel her body slowly relaxing after a while.
I did a Reiki treatment (Energy Healing) and started massaging her gently. I could feel her relaxing a little more and her breathing came back to normal. I wrapped her in a blanket and she went back to sleep for the rest of the night.
The next morning I started doing some research. Why was she so sensitive to storm and noises all of a sudden.
When dogs have arthritis, they become more sensitive to loud noises and energy vibration. Dogs can smell, hear and sense storm, lightening and heavy weather hours before and after it happens.
I am still looking for a scientific explanation and open to suggestions
How can you help your dog
- The moment, you realize your dog is getting nervous, put a Tshirt on him.
- If you are familiar with energy healing such as Reiki, TTouch or other energy work, see if you can do a treatment for your dog. Some dogs respond well but for others it might be too much. A gentle massage might be a better option.
- If you dog is getting more and more nervous, wrapping him in a blanket can help.
- You can also desensitize your dog and enroll the help of a dog behaviourist.
- See if you can get his attention on something else: playing with his favorite toy for example
- For some dogs playing soothing music can help
Anyone else has any suggestions to help a “storm/thunder anxious dog”?
If you do, share your tips in the comments box.