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Ways to comfort your pet during storms

9:07 AM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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Sasha the pit bull hides her face whenever it storms. (Stacie Savage)

POWERS FERRY, Ga. -- We've all been through these; loud, frequent rumbles of thunder. For many pet owners you know that these noises can spark a fit of panic into your cat or dog, and trying to calm them down once the thunder has already started can be nearly impossible, but why?

"I think the same things you think about when you think about a child, explains Dr. Scott Miller, a veterinarian from Powers Ferry Animal Hospital. "Loud noises is one thing. It's a combination of pressure and noise. Pressure changes. And the pressure changes that come along with incoming highs and lows."

So what ARE some of the options pet owners have to fix the problem?

First is something called a "calming collar". It's basically a collar that has pheremones in it that makes the dog feel as though other dogs are around, and that makes them feel as though they are not alone. Those collars last for up to 4 weeks.

Another option is a plug-in. It works just like a Glade plug-in for your home. You plug it into an electrical outlet and it releases the same pheremones that the collar does. Worried about your house smelling funny? Don't. Humans cannot smell the pheremones.

There are also pills that you can give your pet to calm them down. "They have a variety of different medications that they make. Some are pure anxiety medications, some are sedatives, and then others would be like herbal remedies," Dr. Miller details.

Another option is the Thundershirt. This swaddling sweater is actually a very common method for people to use since it does not involve any medications or tranquilizers. This product boasts an over 85% success rate, and is available in different sizes depending on your dog's weight, and, yes, they also make these for cats as well.

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