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Identifying Fearful Behaviors

In our last blog post, we wrote about keeping your dog safe during firework season.  Some owners since then have asked, “Well, how do I know if my dog is afraid?”    To answer this question, Dr. Katie will describe her own dog’s behavior before a storm rolls in.

Ruby is a 7 year old mutt I found while hiking 6 years ago.  She had been abandoned with a litter of puppies and was in very poor health, but now she is a happy and healthy part of the Darr home.  Ruby has been afraid of storms since the day I found her.  When the clouds first start rolling in, she starts restlessly pacing.   She goes to the front door and checks often (hypervigilance), but she spends most of the prestorm time seeking attention from a family member.  Other signs Ruby displays are panting,cowering, refusal to eat, yawning, whining, ears pinned back, freezing, and shaking. Once the storm arrives and the thunder begins, Ruby runs and hides in the bathroom where she shakes and pants.   Other dogs can become destructive, run away, or injure themselves with self trauma.

Here are just a few signs your dog is scared.  For really bad storms, and holidays with fireworks, Dr. Katie uses a medication to help Ruby calm down.  There are many options available, and there is no “1 size fits all.”  Our previous blog post features some simple tips and tricks you can try to help your pet.  If you feel your pet needs a medication, please give us a call to schedule a consultation (573-875-3647).

Happy Independence Day from the My Zoo team!

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