• 316 Oxley Rd, Graceville, QLD 4075. PH: (07) 3379 9336

  • Summer Storms

  • We are all aware of the devastating storms and wet weather, we have been experiencing this summer. It has been a trying time for everyone affected.

    Storms with lightning and thunder can be very scary for your dog and cause severe behavioural changes that are not rational at all and may include hiding, climbing,  digging, running all accompanied by high levels of anxiety.  Often dogs can sense a storm is approaching before we are aware and this can be a problem when trying to settle the animal before the storm or give medication to calm your dog.

    The use of drugs to treat phobias to storms in particular without using some form of a behavioural modification program may not be as successful as a combination of both. It is important to talk to your Vet about an overall program to reduce your dogs fear of storms. Veterinary animal behaviouralists have specific expertise in this area and often use a desensitisation program that includes tapes of storms that can be used at different levels of intensity to accommodate the dogs fear and reduce the impact. Often these programs are used with behavioural modifying medication to raise the threshold of acceptance of the animal. Sometimes tranquilisers can be given to your pet to assist in calming them during the storm but the medication needs to be timed correctly for maximum effect. There are dog appeasing pheromones currently on the market, in the form of diffuser and collars that can be used in the treatment of storm phobias.

    It is important to be aware that there are really no quick fix solutions and no magic bullets for these sort of behavioural disorders. In most cases phobias and behavioural disorders take some time to develop and the reaction to the situation can develop over time. It is important to remember that most behavioural problems can be managed with training and treatment.  

    A consequence of your dog running away during a storm is that it is vital to have the appropriate identification in place. Dogs and cats need to be registered with the council and collars should carry the registration tags. However the best permanent form of identification is the MICROCHIP. The microchip is implanted between the shoulder blades in the dog and cat and the microchip can be read by passing the reader over the animal’s body. The reader prints out a number and then that number is searched on a database. The most essential part of this process is that owners current contact details are accurate and updated when you move.

    Last month we had 16 notification of lost pets and the microchipped animals were reunited faster which is a good outcome.