New research from Penn State suggests that consoling your dog does little to relieve their anxiety during a thunderstorm. Science Daily reports:
Thunderstorm-anxious dogs not only suffer classic signs of fear -- including pacing, whining and hiding during a storm -- but also show a 207 percent spike in the production of cortisol, a hormone also produced by humans during stress. The researchers took saliva samples from the dogs used in the study before and after exposure to a recorded thunderstorm, and measured the cortisol levels in each sample. Dogs that lived in multi-dog households had significantly less overall change in cortisol levels compared to dogs that lived in single-dog households. This corresponds to a less extreme reaction to thunderstorms in dogs from the multi-dog households.
So how can you help your boxer?
Here are 3 practical tips to help your boxer with anxiety during a thunderstorm.
Keep your household (including yourself) calm. Make sure that your boxer is kept inside in a safe place (bed, crate, room).
Many boxer owners have raved about "The Thundershirt". It might be worth a try.
- Visit your veterinarian to discuss medication and the impact the anxiety might be having on your boxer.