Posts Tagged ‘Thundershirt’


Looks like we're in for stormy weather...

Looks like we’re in for stormy weather…

     Thunderstorms are serious business for people whose dogs panic during thunder and lightning.  A client once told us his dog crashed through a plate glass window in a frenzy during an electrical storm.  What can you do if your pet has a storm phobia?

Sedate him

     In extreme cases, a dog may need to be given a sedative as the storm is approaching, so the pet is less likely to cause harm to itself.  Sedatives are dispensed by the veterinarian after an examination to determine if the pet is healthy enough for medication.

Calm him naturally

     HomeoPet Storm Stress is a natural anti-anxiety product which does not cause sedation.  HomeoPet touts its product as safe and easy to use.  It is a liquid which can be administered in the food or directly into the mouth.

Swaddle him

     Perhaps the most intriguing idea I’ve found is the Storm Defender Cape.  The cape (indoor use only) reduces the pet’s sensitivity to the static charge which builds up in the air during electrical storms and heat lightning.  

     Another option is the Thundershirt, which uses “gentle, constant pressure to calm your dog.”

More Tips

     Dr. Patty Khuly has more advice for calming storm-phobic dogs (cuddle, crate, compete.)  She recommends the Storm Defender Cape, as well.  Click here to read more about helping your pet through scary weather.

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Is your cat shy? Follow these steps to make vet visits easier.

If it’s been a year or more since your cat had a check-up, it’s time to get her to the vet.  Here are some tips* to make the veterinary visits more pleasant for you and your cat:

  • Start with a carrier that is easy to take your cat in and out of (top-loading carriers work best.)
  • Help your cat be more comfortable in the car by using the carrier and taking shorter rides to places other than the veterinary clinic.
  • Avoid feeding your cat for several hours before riding in the car (cats travel better on an empty stomach.)
  • Bring your cat’s favorite treats and toys with you to the veterinary clinic.
  • Practice regular care routines at home, like grooming, nail trimming and teeth brushing.
  • Pretend to do routine veterinary procedures with your cat, like touching the cat’s face, ears, feet and tail.
  • Give your cat and the veterinary healthcare team a chance to interact in a less stressful situation by taking your cat to the clinic for a weight check, rather than only for exams and procedures.

BONUS: Check out these products specially designed to help calm your stressed-out pet during vet visits, car rides, and thunderstorms.    


HomeoPet Anxiety Relief


*These tips are available at our office in the Pet Owner Guide “Have We Seen Your Cat Lately?” from BI Vetmedica.

This article was originally published on June 20, 2011. 

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     Recently, a client mentioned to me that she had seen on TV a suggestion that storm-spooked dogs may be reacting to the static charge in the air.  Because the average dog has more body hair than the average human, dogs tend to be more sensitive to static electricity.

      The suggestion was made to wipe the nervous dog with a damp cloth, all over its body.  The dampness would reduce or eliminate the charged particles in the fur, leading to a more relaxed pooch.

     My client, Mrs. B., tried the damp washcloth method with her historically nervous dog on Friday, as a lightning storm approached.  Mrs. B. reported that, after the treatment, her dog became at ease and rode out the storm well.

     If you have any experience with this particular storm-stress treatment, we’d love to hear about it.  We do caution, however, that dogs who are sensitive to the noise and flashes of light that accompany a storm, may not receive any benefit from the washcloth treatment.  ~~  Jen

     For more information on helping anxious pets through a storm, check out our blog entry from July 30, 2010:

     Thundershirt is another product available for storm-phobic dogs.  Let us know what works for you and your pet.

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