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Calm In The Storm: Soothing An Anxious Or Fearful Dog

Calm In The Storm: Soothing An Anxious Or Fearful Dog

Fearful Fidos and Anxious Pups: A Pawsitive Approach

It’s a dark and stormy night, and your furry friend is trembling in the corner, ears pinned back and tail tucked tight. Sound familiar? As a dog parent, it can be heartbreaking to see our canine companions so scared and unsure. But fear not, my fellow dog lovers – I’m here to share some pawsitive strategies to help soothe your anxious pup during those ruff weather events.

You see, I used to have a German Shepherd named Daisy who was terrified of thunderstorms. Poor thing would hide under the bed, shaking like a leaf, no matter how much I tried to comfort her. It was a real ruff situation, let me tell you. But after doing some research and testing out different techniques, I finally found a way to help Daisy weather the storm.

Understanding Canine Anxiety

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But I thought you weren’t supposed to coddle a scared dog!” Well, my friends, that’s a common misconception that needs to be busted, as Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB Emeritus, explains. Fear is a highly aversive emotion, and try as we might, we can’t really “reinforce” it by offering our anxious pups some love and comfort.

Think about it this way – if someone broke into your home in the middle of the night, would a hug and a cup of tea from a loved one the next day make you more likely to be afraid if it happened again? Of course not! The same goes for our canine companions. Offering them a safe haven and soothing presence during their time of distress isn’t going to make them more anxious in the long run.

In fact, research suggests that ignoring a fearful dog’s distress can actually make the situation worse, as it deprives them of the comfort and security they so desperately need. It’s like telling a scared child to “suck it up” – not exactly the most helpful approach, am I right?

Soothing Strategies for Stormy Situations

So, what can we do to help our anxious dogs during those ruff weather events? Well, let me tell you, I’ve tried a few different tactics with Daisy, and I’ve found that a combination of techniques works best.

First and foremost, creating a safe, cozy space for your pup is key. Whether it’s a cozy crate lined with blankets or a quiet corner of the house, giving them a sense of security can do wonders. And don’t be afraid to get in there with them! Snuggling up and offering that calming human presence can go a long way in soothing their nerves.

Another helpful tool is using calming supplements or medications prescribed by your veterinarian. Things like CBD oil, Trazodone, or Fluoxetine can help take the edge off and make the storm a little more bearable for your furry friend.

But the real key, in my experience, is to focus on distraction and redirection. When the thunder starts to rumble, try engaging your pup in their favorite game or activity to shift their attention away from the scary sounds. Breaks out the squeaky toys, go for a short walk, or even just cuddle up on the couch and turn on some soothing music. Anything to help them feel safe, secure, and a little less anxious.

A Pawsitive Outlook for the Future

Now, I know it can be tough to see our furry friends so scared and upset, but with a little patience and the right approach, we can help them weather even the stormiest of situations. And who knows, maybe one day, they’ll be the ones comforting us during a sudden thunderstorm!

In the meantime, remember – your dog is looking to you for guidance and comfort. So, the next time the skies start to rumble, be their rock, their safe haven, their best friend. Because at the end of the day, that’s what we all need – a little love and support to get us through the ruff times.

And if you’re ever in need of some more tips or resources, don’t forget to check out – your one-stop-shop for all things canine. Happy snuggling, my fellow dog lovers!

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