Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Protecting Your Pet: Weather Worries
Does your pet go into hiding when it's raining cats and dogs with loud thunder boomers. It's frightening for many animals - but you can help them overcome it. Health Specialist Marilyn Mitzel shows us how in "Protecting your Pet."
(WSVN) -- Buddy looks tough -- but...Thunder turns him into a big baby.
Kim Lotterman: "As soon as the first hint of thunder happens -- his whole demeanor will change."
Nala and Missy are thunder-phobic too.
Jodi Ozborne: "They go into panic attacks. It's heart breaking."
Missy was so scared she jumped through a window.
Jodi Ozborne: "There was glass shattered everywhere and they was blood all over."
Dr. Chris Stevens from Emerald Hills Animal Hospital: "Shaking, whining, pacing, wanting to be right next to you -- some dogs actually start running through the house trying to find a place to hide. Others will start getting destructive."
To help them cope some need to be held - told over and over again in a reassuring - loving voice - everything's okay - they're safe.
But what works for one won't for another.
Dr. Stevens: "A lot of times all that is doing is re-enforcing the behavior and making it worse."
Some just need a place to hide until the storm passes.
Dr. Stevens: "Let them find a safe place in the house. If they want to hide, if they want to be in a closet -- if they want the bathtub, wherever they want let them hide."
Distract them by playing games. Turn up the radio or TV to drown out thunder. Try desensitizing them - play thunder sounds until they're used to it.
Rescue remedy - an herbal supplement may take the edge off.
If all else fails, your vet may prescribe tranquilizers.
Jodi Ozborne: "First sounds we would give it to them."
Instead of freaking out - now when a storm comes rolling in Nala - Missy and Buddy are.
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