Friday, May 14, 2010

We're having Thunderstorms and Heavy Rain -- Uh Oh! Satch is in the tub again!

stormy skiesImage by ConnieG via Flickr
My dog is deathly afraid of thunder.  He becomes a pitiful, shaking, quaking mess when storms roll in.  I have tried all different ways to relieve his anxiety and pain, to no avail.  He will pace and hide and pace and hide, all while shaking violently and whining.  It hurts me to watch him.  I recently read an article about using Melatonin to deal with this problem.  Below is an article I found, which is just one of many available, that talks about using Melatonin.  I found it on

The first time I tried this was in the middle of the night when Satch's severe shaking woke me up from a sound sleep.  He was finally able to calm down and go back to sleep, but it took a while for the effect to occur.  Today, however, the storms arrived before I realized it and he was in full-blown panic.  I gave him a dose but so far no effect.  I will have to wait and see if I will need to do something else.  The last time he went into a panic, he jumped into the bathtub and howled.  I want no repeat of that, please.

So, here's the article I'm talking about:

Melatonin: Used To Treat Fear Of Thunderstorms

December 15, 2008

Dogs are often scared of loud noises, not all dogs, but many. 
And of those who do have a noise sensitivity,  thunderstorms 
and other similar, unexpected sounds, are often the culprits of 
their fears. Fear of thunder or other loud noises is very common. 
This is often true for puppies and older dogs.

Dealing with the possibility of having a panic stricken, nervous 

dog, many owners resort to tranquilizers whenever alerted to an 
impending thunderstorm. This is an extreme treatment that is 
often recommended, but seldom needed. I would like to now 
introduce you to a new alternative should you ever need it for 
your own scared dog the next time a storm comes through your 
area. It is a safe, drug-free, over-the-counter supplement that is 
easily available to to any dogs with these anxiety problems. It is 
called melatonin.

You have probably heard of melatonin before. It is a naturally 

occurring hormone that is secreted by a small endocrine gland 
called the pineal gland, located at the base of the brain. It helps 
to regulate and maintain the body’s circadian rhythm (the body’s 
internal clock that tells mammals when to fall asleep and when to 
wake up). Melatonin, in humans, is often used as a natural 
sleeping aid. For dogs, melatonin is often administered to 
alleviate their fear of thunder and other loud noises.

I have read studies that melatonin has a positive result with at least 

75% of dogs who take the supplement. When do you administer 
melatonin, you may be wondering? With some dogs, melatonin is 
most effective when it is given just before the storm hits.  In other 
dogs, it is best when this supplement is given just as they are 
starting to show signs of stress, anxiety and fear so you may have 
to experiment over the course of a few storms before you find the 
perfect application time for your own dog.

Melatonin is said to work in the dogs body for about eight hours or 

so. One important note: do not use melatonin on any pregnant dogs 
or very young puppies. The best advice I can give you is to check
with your veterinarian prior to using melatonin to make sure there 
will be no problems with pre-existing health problems or medications 
that your dog currently has (or is on) and also for the recommended 
dosage for your own pet.

By: Debbie Ray

Need German Shepherd or Purebred dog information 

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1 comment:

  1. I've been hearing a lot about an accessory called the Thundershirt -- I've got no connection to the business, it just sounds like an interesting idea; it's basically a dog sweater, but supposedly something about the weave or the cut (I'm vague on the specifics) creates a pressure on the dog that's very soothing and is a totally drug-free way help them get through fireworks and thunderstorms. It sounds intriguing, but really? A dog sweater does all that?
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