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I know I’ve written about this before, but I wanted to revisit the subject especially since I’m experiencing it with one of Yankee’s good friends, another golden retriever named Miles. Miles is spending some time with us while his “parents” are on vacation.
Over the last several days, we’ve had some pretty good thunderstorms. Plus the 4th of July fireworks displays just passed.
Several days ago as we were sitting down to dinner, a huge clap of thunder sounded. Miles, who is usually very interested in what’s for dinner, immediately took notice and went to the corner by our dining table and sat facing the corner. He was definitely uncomfortable and not at all interested in dinner. I didn’t make a big deal of it. Since I could reach him from my seat at the table, I softly put my hand on him. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t pet him; I just kept my hand steadily on him as I also navigated my dinner. In a few moments he relaxed somewhat, despite the continued thunder.
During another thunderstorm, I broke out the essential oils, and let Miles sniff a few to see which ones he was drawn to. Then I made a mixture of 3 drops of each oil (3 oils total) in 5mls of sunflower oil. I let Miles sniff them as much as he wanted. After a short time, he laid down and went to sleep, seemingly no longer concerned about the thunder periodically booming outside.
So what can you do for your dog to help him through this fear? Most important is to not make a big deal of the fear so you don’t reinforce the behavior. Place a steady, calming hand on your dog and don’t say anything that might support the fear. Give your dog the freedom to go hide wherever he chooses. You can also try some calming essential oils or flower essences. Depending on the dog, frankincense
and valerian, 1 to 3 drops mixed with 5mls of carrier oil such as sunflower oil, are known to help with some noise phobias. But it depends on the dog. I’ve also seen reduction in the fears with acupressure treatments.
Hopefully some of these suggestions can help diminish your dog’s fears. Give them a try and let us know your results. We’d be happy to print them!