Frantic dogs may need the swaddling of a wrap
At this time of year, we begin to hear stories from our clients about their dog's fear of loud noises.
Usually, the pet has exhibited these fears all year, but with our summer afternoon thunderstorms, clients have the issue more predominately on their minds.
Typically, they come to us asking for tranquilizers to calm the dog. This is not the best solution in most cases. Tranquilizers need to be given a few hours before the event and should not be given daily.
With our clients who work, the dilemma of not knowing when to use the medication becomes an issue in itself.
Summer storms are so unpredictable that it is hard to know when they might pop up. We have had clients come home to a house that looks like it has been ransacked because their dog was frantic trying to get away from a bad storm or fireworks.
My own dog is only mildly agitated by loud noises. Over the years, we have learned to put on soothing music and place her in an interior room without windows on the Fourth of July. That seems to work just fine for her.
However, my sister's dog has increasingly become a basket case when she visits. (We also have to deal with Fort Stewart during bombing exercises.)
This got me thinking how, as a new grandmother, I had been intrigued with the thoughts being presented to parents on swaddling newborns and babies.
The wraps seem to help relax and lull babies to sleep. I had seen wraps for horses and had read some on the subject in our veterinary journals. So, I recommended to my sister to try a wrap for her dog.
The Anxiety Wrap (www.anxietywrap.com) was developed by a professional dog trainer. The light pressure of the garment is meant to target points on the dog's body to give a calming effect and release tension.
My sister tried the wrap on her 11-year-old Australian Shepherd who would hide in the closet during storms or loud noises.
This is my sister's story:
"The wrap fit perfectly and she didn't mind wearing it. I got to test it out several nights later when there was a storm. The storm was some distance away and, at first, I thought maybe she was losing her hearing because she wasn't reacting to the thunder. When the storm got closer, she calmly got up and went into her closet.
Since then we have weathered several storms and as long as she has on her wrap, she does not exhibit the signs of stress that she used to show. In fact, on several occasions, she has calmly gone back to sleep and did not even go into the closet."
This might be a solution for your pet if you are in a similar situation.
Lisa Yackel is the administrator at Case Veterinary Hospital. She and Dr. Carla Case-McCorvey, veterinarian and owner of Case Veterinary Hospital, write a blog about pet care and families on coastalmommies.com.