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Does your pet turn into a scaredy dog during thunderstorms? If so, he’s certainly not alone. Thunderstorm anxiety affects many dogs and can often increase as they age. With symptoms ranging from barking to chewing to self-injury, it can be a serious problem for both dog and owner.
Not only is the loud noise of thunder scary, dogs can hear it at a much greater distance than humans can. The smell of the air also changes when a storm approaches, and the keen nose of a dog detects this early. The air pressure changes, too, and a dog’s ears are more sensitive to pressure changes than most people. In some cases, it might hurt.
Tips to help your dog weather the storm
• Stay calm. Adopt a neutral, matter-of-fact attitude. Your dog can quickly pick up on any unease or fear on your part.
• Don’t comfort your dog when he acts afraid. Giving him hugs or special attention can actually reinforce his fearful behavior. Speak to him in a happy, playful voice to give him confidence. Never punish him for his fearful behavior. If you can get your dog to play with you during a storm, all the better.
• Provide your dog with a safe indoor place during storms. It can be his crate, a bathroom or closet — anyplace as long as he feels comfortable there. Many dogs have been lost when they ran from their fenced yards in terror during storms. If you have a designated “safe indoor space” for your dog, be sure to leave the door open to it so he doesn’t feel trapped.
• Buy a CD of thunderstorm sounds. Start a thunderstorm “conditioning program” by first playing the CD on extremely low volume while you go about your day-to-day activities. If your dog acts afraid again, don’t attend to the fearful behavior. Redirect him to a pleasant activity, such as playing ball. Gradually increase the volume until your pooch can handle a more realistic sounding storm. This process may take several days to a few weeks.
• Give your dog medication. If your dog is extremely agitated during thunderstorms, you may want to consider medication or a natural remedy for pets. Your veterinarian can help with this. Ask him or her for medications that may help.
• Above all, be kind and patient with your dog throughout the thunderstorm. Do whatever you can to calm your dog without adding to his panic. If he needs a dark room, let him have it. If he wants to lean against your leg, let him. If he follows you from room to room, just go with it. You’ll be providing the comfort he needs to ride out the storm.
Following are just a few of the many wonderful pets available for adoption at the HSCAZ shelter, located at 602 W. Wilson Court. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed Sunday and holidays. Adoptable pets are already spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations. For more information, call (928) 474-5590 or visit us on the Web at www.humanesocietyaz.org.
Monty is a party animal who loves to have fun. He loves playing with other dogs and has a blast playing games like chase and tug. Monty is friendly and affectionate with people. He likes to curl up in your lap when he isn’t busy playing with you.
Sarge is a mellow, friendly guy who greets every new person with a wagging tail. He is low- to moderate-energy, and would be fine in a slower-paced home. But he loves to get out, so a walk now and then would be just his speed. Sarge is not overly playful, but welcomes gentle petting and relaxing with people. He is dog social, but can be a little too familiar, so tolerant dog friends are best.
Si is our sweet, shy guy. He is slow to warm up to people, but once he feels comfortable, he is affectionate and playful. He loves other dogs and gets along with them pretty well. Si would benefit from being adopted with another dog, or going home to another dog. He is more confident and outgoing when he has a buddy.
Handsome, affectionate and playful are some of his best qualities. Razzle and his best friend Dazzle are looking to find a forever home together. Razzle loves playing with people or kitty toys. He is adventurous, but also enjoys curling up for a nap next to Dazzle.
Dazzle is an easygoing girl who loves to be loved. She is affectionate and never turns away an ear scratch. She is looking to find a forever home with her best friend Razzle.
Cannoli may be a little shy at first, but if you give her a nice pet, she will be in your lap before you know it. She is great with people and is extremely affectionate. She gets along with other cats that are easygoing and friendly.
The Humane Society of Central Arizona depends upon our community’s generosity to care for the animals at our shelter. To mail a donation, send your check to HSCAZ, P.O. Box 242, Payson, AZ 85547 or bring donations to the shelter at 605 W. Wilson Court, just south of Main Street. We need the following:
Cat and Dog Food
• Purina brands: Dog Chow, Cat Chow,
Puppy Chow and Kitten Chow
• Pedigree brands: Adult Dog, Adult
Cat and Puppy
• Any brand of corn-free and grain-
free food for our special diet dogs
• Wet food, any brand for dogs and
cats. Pate wet cat food for kittens
• Cat and dog toys, any kind
Cat and Dog Supplies
• Litter boxes
• Stainless steel and ceramic bowls
• Blankets of all sizes
• Leashes and collars
• Dish soap
• Toilet paper
• Paper towels
• Scrub brushes and scour pads
• Rubber gloves
• Washing machine detergent
• Copy paper
• Metal shelving units to use for