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Spring Thunderstorms and Dog Phobia’s

Is your dog scared of thunderstorms? Does he get scared before you even know it is going to rain? Even before the first clap of thunder, otherwise well-behaved pets begin to pace, pant, cling to their owners, hide in the closet, or jam themselves behind the toilet. In severe cases, they’ll claw through drywall, chew carpets, or break through windows in their escalating panic.

Some of the triggers that set the dogs off can be a combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static electricity, and low-frequency rumbles preceding a storm that humans can’t hear. According to one theory, dogs experience painful shocks from static buildup before the storm.

Sometimes the anxiety gets worse throughout the season as storms become more frequent.

Try these tips.


1. Reward calm behavior year-round.

Do not try to console your dog if it is whimpering. Your behavior may be encouraging the panicky behavior. One expert recommends practicing using an “inside” leash when it is not storming and have your pet lie at your feet and praise him for the calm behavior.and. Sherman advises clients to put a special “inside” leash on the dog and practice having the pet lie at their feet while praising the calm behavior.  When the storm approaches, you should then put the “inside” leash on and and have them lie calmly next to you.

You can also try using distraction by playing their favorite game , feeding treats or watching tv or listening to music while petting your dog.

2. Make sure your dog feels safe.

Using a open crate, a bathroom, or another  interior room of the house  might make the dog feel safe.  You should let your dog decide where they feel comfortable.  We have some clients who tell us their dogs like to lie in the tub during storms.

3. Consider a snug garment.

There is no scientific research to back this up but the Thundershirt has been known to help dogs with storm phobia’s.  Some of our own employee’s dogs use them and have seen good results.  The Thundershirt is pressure garment that is said to have a calming effect similar to swaddling a baby.

ThunderShirt - Classic




June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month


My newly adopted cat is not eating a lot of food. Is this normal? If not, what can I do?

Along with our local shelters, we have some kittens that need homes.  We will be featuring available kittens for adoption each week of June.



Last week’s question was :

Name 4 parts of cat toys that can be choking hazards?

And the winner is Geri Addison


She answered: Detachable eyes, noses, beads, and strings can all be potential choking hazards to your pets.

And this week’s question is :


Name three places your dog may feel safe during a thunderstorm .

Please leave a comment to this blog with your answer or send us the answer via e mail to by noon on Friday  to be eligible to win the weekly prize.

** Please note , you can win more than once and you can win consecutive weeks , so keep on answering the questions! You DO NOT  have to be a client of Rockdale Animal Hospital to enter or win.

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