Can pets have a phobia of storms?

Discussion in 'Panic Disorder and General Anxiety' started by Mark, May 18, 2016.

  1. Mark

    Mark Active Member

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    In some of the storm/hurricane corridors of the USA more and more pet owners are reporting extreme behavioural issues for their pet dogs, cats, etc during storms. While it is easy to put this down to “animal behaviour” there have been some horrific reports of animals clawing through dry walls, chewing carpets and perhaps most disturbing, jumping through windows at the height of their panic.

    Experts believe that a mixture of wind, thunder, lightning and pressure changes in the atmosphere together with low frequency noises which are undetectable to the human ear could set off these distressing and traumatic episodes.

    Helping your pet to keep calm during storms

    There are two main ways in which you can help your pet to keep calm during storms one of which is to constantly reward them if they stay calm. This will instil calmness in their brain because they will want the rewards and this should hopefully override any escalating panic in the event of storms or similar situations. It is also highly advisable to give your pet a “safe place” to go during storms as this will help them to remain calm, well as calm as possible, and avoid extreme behaviour such as that described above.

    Pet owners love their animals and they are more like family than pets so if your dog, cat, etc is experiencing heightened tension and extreme behaviour during storms, do not ignore this.
     
    KirstyMarks likes this.
  2. KirstyMarks

    KirstyMarks New Member

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    Great post! I wouldn't even had thought about pets!
     
  3. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    I find it interesting that people will walk to the ends of the earth to help their pets but are often too afraid (or in some cases too ashamed) to find help for their own phobia and anxiety issues. Does society stigmatise phobia/anxiety sufferers to the point where many feel alone and helpless? Mental health is as important as physical health and sufferers need to know they are not alone and there is help out there.
     
  4. Craig

    Craig Member

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    Dogs think and feel just as we do. Or indeed any living creature. They can indeed feel fear, become anxious and develop phobias and indeed responses to traumatic events.

    Craig.
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Active Member

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    Is there anything we can learn from the animal kingdom about how they react to anxiety/phobia? Do animals take certain actions when in fear?
     
  6. Craig

    Craig Member

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    I see you are a dog lover. Which is brilliant.

    Dogs essentially live in the moment, for the most part they experience something and let it go. They don't dwell on it. Being able to let things go, move past is of great benefit. Dogs never wonder what if, they just enjoy what is going on right now. There is more to this obviously yet I think this sums it up nicely.

    Craig.
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Active Member

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    @Craig You have hit the nail on the head - we can learn so much from the animal kingdom. Over the last 2 years my little pal has had a cancerous lump removed, she is diabetic and has 2 insulin injections a day as well as another recent op to have an annoying growth removed from her head (not cancerous but annoying her and bleeding) and she is like a young pup again despite the fact she is 13 :)

    Oh and each time I give her the insulin she is in the mindset that it is a game and we play chase around the house while she wags her tail and barks. She was initially scared of the needle but turning it into a game, which she did, has changed this process.
     
    Craig likes this.
  8. Craig

    Craig Member

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    Great work Mark. She sounds like she is doing amazing and you are doing an amazing job with her. Well done.

    Give her a big hug from me. I do love dogs I must admit.

    Craig.
     
    Mark likes this.
  9. Mark

    Mark Active Member

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    Will do lol

    Have to be honest @Craig I was crying like a baby when I got the diabetes news from the vets and we had to rush her in but she has had diabetes for 2 years now and she is even brighter than ever. She has been through a lot but she is a battler - as I said above, we can learn so much from animals. I dont know if our brains are "bigger and better" than a dogs, etc but if they are we humans don't always use them the right way and seem hellbent on making life more complicated than it is a lot of the time :)
     
    Craig likes this.
  10. Craig

    Craig Member

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    It is something we humans appear to do very very well. The good news is that it does not have to be permanent.

    I understand what you mean with your dog. My boy I absolutely treasure. If he is sick I basically stay up all night keeping an eye on him lol. Yet if you are going to have an animal I believe we owe it to that animal to give it the best possible life and the best possible care available. They give so much to us and to not return that is positively criminal.

    Craig.
     

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