Update: Thunderstorm Therapy

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Bean, her fear of thunderstorms, and how Through A Dog’s Ear: Calm Your Canine Companion Vol. 2 worked.  Since then, I’ve tried several different configurations between the Thundershirt and the CD to find out which worked most effectively.

By and large, the CD, Calm Your Canine Companion, worked the best.

I know, I know – it’s a little incredible. Just music, you say? Yes, really. I’m serious. Bean has started going upstairs to my office, where I play her music on my computer speakers, any time she feels stressed. When I see her heading upstairs with her tail down and ears pinned back, I go up and turn her music on. She’ll lie on the floor and eventually go to sleep.

Way better than a panting, drooling ball o’ terror.

The more awesome thing about it is that since I’ve been using the CD nearly anytime she gets stressed out, she’s been having an overall more relaxed response to stress triggers. It’s not 100% yet, but she no longer goes into Velco-dog mode every time she thinks she hears something that sounds like thunder. It used to be instantaneous – she’d freeze, then start panting and drooling and shaking. The last few times we’ve had thunderstorms – notably, last night – she’s just followed me upstairs and laid down on the floor while I start the music. No shaking, no drooling, just a calm response.

One of the biggest problems I’ve had with her in the year and some she’s lived with me is her instant shut-down in the face of stressful situations. You know that look – they stare at the wall and just kind of shut down. No outside response to anything. You could wave a live squirrel in front of her face and she wouldn’t be interested. Since I’ve been using music therapy for her in stressful situations, she hasn’t been so locked into her fear that she can’t respond. She hasn’t once gone in to a shut-down mode.  In fact, after four ‘treatments’, she has had an overall calmer response to stressful situations (weird outside noises, thunder, people honking car horns outside, people yelling).

For a dog that was in some kind of stationary panic mode anytime something loud and unexpected happened, that’s a pretty big leap.

The fact that this has worked so dramatically has just amazed me. It probably won’t work 100% for everyone, but I’d urge anyone with an anxious dog to give it a try. I was a mere scrip away from getting a prescription drug for her when I tried this, having tried everything else that was available to me, and I can’t be more thankful I tried Through A Dog’s Ear. I hope it works for your dog, too!

Bean taking a nap during a storm

PS: Woof! This is Bean, here. Mom plays me this piano music when I get stressed out, and she thinks it’s all for me! Little does she know, she relaxes too when she puts on my music. Dog AND people-friendly, like ham sandwiches! Woof!


About Mel

Likes: Canada, spelunking, shiny objects, painting her living room a different color every couple of months, animals, dogs, clicker training Dislikes: Canada, styrofoam packing peanuts, snoring, crazy stalkers, failure of google-fu Favorite sports: hockey, marriage, agility, curling, hockey, snooker, hockey Noted for: participation in charities, antique furniture obsession, not-entirely-appropriate sense of humor, obsession with dog training
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