First Thunderstorm

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First Thunderstorm

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Old 03-01-2014, 09:07 PM
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First Thunderstorm

Any suggestions on how to handle my puppy's first thunderstorm? (By first, I mean his first with me. I dunno if he ever experienced one while he was at the breeder's or not.) We're supposed to get storms tonight and tomorrow (in addition to a chance of ice and snow.
I'm not as worried during the day as I am at night. Merlin sleeps in my living room because that's where his x-pen and potty area is. I can hear him if he makes a loud fuss, but I won't hear if he is quietly cowering or something.
So far he doesn't seem bothered by loud noises. In fact, he's slept through ne using my fairly loud blender as well as barely reacting to the vacuum, none of which can hold a candle to the loudest thunder crack.
With our bichons, we didn't really do anything out of the ordinary during thunderstorms and none are/were afraid of thunder.
I guess my question is, should I be worried at all about it, or just play it by ear? I'm thinking that, if it does storm tonight and there is loud thunder, I may discreetly check up on him and see how he's doing and then go from there. If he seems fine, don't do anything, but if he seems frightened, I'll figure out I guess.
I think I'm rambling right now, but I guess my question is, is there anything that I should do? Or should I not be so worried about it?
Again, sorry for the rambling post! (As all of mine seem to he haha)
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CadenceDiscordia View Post
Any suggestions on how to handle my puppy's first thunderstorm? (By first, I mean his first with me. I dunno if he ever experienced one while he was at the breeder's or not.) We're supposed to get storms tonight and tomorrow (in addition to a chance of ice and snow.
I'm not as worried during the day as I am at night. Merlin sleeps in my living room because that's where his x-pen and potty area is. I can hear him if he makes a loud fuss, but I won't hear if he is quietly cowering or something.
So far he doesn't seem bothered by loud noises. In fact, he's slept through ne using my fairly loud blender as well as barely reacting to the vacuum, none of which can hold a candle to the loudest thunder crack.
With our bichons, we didn't really do anything out of the ordinary during thunderstorms and none are/were afraid of thunder.
I guess my question is, should I be worried at all about it, or just play it by ear? I'm thinking that, if it does storm tonight and there is loud thunder, I may discreetly check up on him and see how he's doing and then go from there. If he seems fine, don't do anything, but if he seems frightened, I'll figure out I guess.
I think I'm rambling right now, but I guess my question is, is there anything that I should do? Or should I not be so worried about it?
Again, sorry for the rambling post! (As all of mine seem to he haha)
Personally, I would get out some toys and play a good game of tug. Thunder is one of those things that you can't really control...He might not show fear THIS time, but who knows about the next storm. If you can associate this episode of thunder with positive things, it should help.

A friend of mine played tug with her BC pup during fireworks. She jokes now that she might have overdid it because the dog absolutely LOVES them. He will get all excited now and watches them and wants to chase them.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:13 PM
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That's a good idea!
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:51 PM
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And if it's overnight, no harm in leaving a frozen pb kong in his bed so he can self-soothe by licking it. Some people find it useful to give the dog a dose of Benadryl so they're sleepy, but I wouldn't go that route until the dog was already showing signs of thunder discomfort.

TB's suggestion about playing tug is a fantastic one, and it's a wonderful preventative measure.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:12 AM
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Loads of great advice already...I can only add, make sure your dog has a place to go like a covered crate so he'll feel as safe as possible, leave lights and a radio on at night to lessen the effect a bit, and don't do anything to draw attention to the fact that something out of the ordinary is going on.
Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:28 AM
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Update: No thunder last night, but I did leave a pumpkin-stuffed Kong for him (no PB because I'm allergic). So, we'll see how it goes today.
Thanks for all the great advice! : )
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:23 PM
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you could invest in the thundershirt. They have them at petco-Sam isn't scared of thunder but it does calm him.

Otherwise, distract him and maybe let him sleep in your room for the night?
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:47 PM
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I'm not quite ready to invest in a Thundershirt if it isn't needed (especially since he's still growing and will be for quite a few more months). But thank you for the advice! I actually considered getting one for my parents' bichon Gizmo, since he seems to be a pretty anxious dog.
I honestly think Merlin will be fine, as long as he has something to comfort him like a plushy toy or something to occupy him like a stuffed kong. I'll just have to play it by ear when there's a thunderstorm in the forecast next.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:23 AM
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When Storm encountered his first thunderstorm, I just pretended nothing out of the ordinary was happening... He did look at me for directions, but I was uninterested.... and I hate thunderstorms...

I am very sensitive to loud noises...
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:50 AM
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I think that's how we've handled them with our dogs at my parents' and none of them seem to dislike thunder. I'll probably just play it by ear and see how he's acting when the thunder starts.
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