Comforting Dogs During Storms

Comforting Dogs During Storms – Doggy Parent Tips

The Fourth of July may be over, but for many skittish dogs, that doesn’t mean the fear of loud noises is in the past. Fireworks may trigger fear in some dogs, but they typically only last during the week of the 4th. Thunderstorms can come and go year-round and may frighten your furry friends. Learn how to comfort your dog during thunderstorms so you can help alleviate some of their fear and anxiety.

Be Present

If you can be at home during a period of thunderstorms (especially during severe storms), you can provide love and comfort to your companion. Just having you home with them can bring great relief, since they won’t be alone. If you can’t be present, find a friend or family member who wouldn’t mind sitting with your dog until you get home.

Massage

Did you know you can give your dog a massage? This can evoke a calming feeling, helping to ease their anxiety and fear during storms. Gently massage your dog, paying close attention to their favorite spots, while talking calmly to the,.

Provide a Safe Place

If your dog has a crate or bed they feel comfortable in, please it in a room where the noise is less noticeable. A familiar sleeping place can provide added comfort to your dog when they are scared or anxious due to thunderstorms. If nobody is available to sit with your dog during the storms, place a shirt you’ve recently worn in their crate or on their bed. Having their owner’s scent close by will help bring them comfort until you arrive home.

Make Your Own Noise

You don’t want to blast loud music to compete with the sound of thunder but playing more calming sounds may help relax your dog. Try playing the radio for some background noise or even play white noise. You may be able to find sounds specifically designed to help comfort dogs online.

Speaking of noise, if you are trying to help your dog overcome the fear, you can utilize thunderstorm sounds. Start playing a video or CD of thunder beginning at a low volume while providing your dog with positive reinforcement and attention. As you turn the volume up gradually, introduce treats, special toys, and lots of play time. Doing this may help lessen the burden thunderstorms have on your dog or may even relieve the fear altogether. Nobody wants their furry companion living in fear, especially during thunderstorms. By learning how to comfort your dog during these times, you can ease their mind and lessen the anxiety and fear the loud noises have on them. Ensure they have a safe place to hide if they need to and utilize your own noises to help combat the sounds of thunder. You may even help them overcome the fear by playing sounds of thunderstorms and interacting with them while it is playing.

Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs

Yes, the name of this post is copied from the truly terrible rom-com Must Love Dogs starring a young Diane Lane and John Cusack. Critics say the film “… was like eating candy Pop Rocks—there’s a bit of fizz, but it leaves no lasting impression…” and received a whopping 35% on Rotten Tomatoes. While I happen to agree with this review, one of the main ideas will remain important to me with an almost jawbreaker-esque longevity.

You. Must. Love. Dogs.

They’re quite literally some of the best people I’ve ever met. Nothing is better than coming home after a long day to smiling dog face. And yes, they’re a lot of work. And yes, sometimes you don’t want to walk them at 6:00AM. And yes, they’re basically just poop machines. But you love them nonetheless because they love you, no questions asked.

My parents have two large golden retrievers whom I just dogsat for and I love to the moon and back, but they’re an absolute nightmare to walk down the streets of San Francisco. Tanner (the larger of the two) is always at the end of his leash pulling me either up or down the large hills, and Kai (the lazier of the two) will walk right beside me, until he decides that the step he has just taken, is his last. When these pups ultimately choose the exact same moment to exhibit their stubborn behaviors, I end up arms spread, stuck in one place on the sidewalk–usually to the amusement of tourists or people eating in the restaurants we pass.

So it’s hard for me to comprehend the people who don’t love dogs. It’s understandable to be a little cautious around them especially if you don’t know their disposition. However, to outright dislike dogs doesn’t make any sense. One might argue, what about a traumatic incident with a dog? Well, my little sister was bitten across the face by a dog when she was 5 and required reconstructive surgery, and yet she’s still the one most likely to stick her own face in a dog’s face.

But I get it. Everyone doesn’t love every dog, and that’s okay–and even if you’re not smitten with them, you can still love dogs… just from a distance.

Here is an homage to my favorite dogs throughout the years!

Tanner

The ever energetic dog we’ve watched grow from a rambunctious puppy, to rambunctious adult, to a “seriously you’re still rambunctious” older dog. Aloof as always, but always ready for a snuggle or a walk.

Kai

The sweetheart foster dog we’ve loved for 2 years. If your lap is free, his head is in it. If your napkin is exposed, he’s snatched it. And if you come through the door, he will bring you whatever he can find, sock, egg carton, tissue, you name it.

Leo

The newest addition to our Golden clan. My little sister’s puppy and one of the sweetest little stinkers around. Good natured and always down to play or snuggle or both.

Genna

Our first dog addition to the family who passed away when I was a Junior in High School. Sweet, lazy and a wonderful dog, she put up with 3 teenagers and a whole lot of attitude, but was never anything but loving in return.

Thanks for reading! Have a favorite story about your pups?

Goldilocks and the 4 Bears

Goldilocks and the 4 Bears

My family owns a cabin on a small lake called Fallen Leaf Lake, in South Lake Tahoe. This home as been in my family for nearly a century, having been built by my great grandfather Leslie (ironic, I know.). Now, this article isn’t about our cabin… but if you’d like to read about it, it’s next on the list of blog articles. This post talks about some fun furry friends we met on a hiking trip with our own furry friends.

**No animals or humans were harmed in the making of this story**

I had taken advantage of my company’s work from home policy and planned on spending the greater half of my week up at the cabin. Both of my parents and my little sister were up there, as well as our 3 golden retrievers. Two of them (Tanner & Kai) belong to my parents, and our newest addition is Leo, my little sister Maddy’s six month old puppy.

Later in the week Maddy and my dad left to go apartment hunting in LA, since my sister was just accepted into USC’s Master Program for Social Work–woohoo! So they left all 3 pups with me and my mom.

Having gone up to this lake every summer since I was born–and a similar legacy for my mom–we decided to go for a quick walk around the northern end of the lake with the dogs. We knew this trail like the back of our hand.

We leashed up the dogs, hopped in the car and headed to the trailhead.

Being the dog people we are, we like to let our pups roam free on trails since they never get the opportunity to be off leash in the city. So we released the beasts. We started walking the trail with Tanner, Kai and Leo each taking turns to run into the bushes, up the path, or simply lie down and eat grass. They were loving it!

We made a left at a fork in the road and continued into a meadow. The trees were beautiful, tall, and rose up in clumps around us. Our trail was fairly quiet and we didn’t encounter folks for a few minutes. As we passed a clump of trees Tanner took off running, sniffing and jumping excitedly at a smell he found at the base of a large tree. Within a few seconds Kai ran over to that spot and was anxiously pawing the ground as well. This is when our red flag went up. Kai, the loveable, lazy dog that he is, doesn’t move unless absolutely necessary–or if food is involved. We started to call them back fearful they’d found a porcupine or some dead animal, and we’d already taken Tanner to the vet with a face full of porcupine quills a few years earlier and none of us was keen to repeat the experience.

In a surprising turn of events the dogs listened and started our way.

That’s when I looked up. And there it was. Only 15 feet away from us, clinging to the tree above where the dogs had been investigating, was teenage bear cub. Luckily these are California Golden Bears, and aren’t violent unless provoked. However, this one was young enough to be considered a cub. And if you’ve know anything about bears you know that where there is a cub, there is also a mom, and she will do anything to protect her babies. We grabbed the dogs, leashed them and basically sprinted away from the bear in the hopes that Momma was nowhere near.

Once we made it a bit further down the trail towards a more populated camping area and where the trail touched the water, we felt a bit better about letting the dogs off the leash again. Surely no bears would be this close to a heavily populated campsite at 2:00PM.

We hung out near the water for a while, throwing sticks for the dogs, and getting sprayed when the dogs shook themselves dry.

We slowly made our way down the beach, wandering around folks gathered to play in the water and onto the next part of the trail.

Once again, Tanner took off running.

Leo tried to accompany him but couldn’t make it over the large log blocking his path. Grabbing him, and shoving him at my mom to leash, I ran after Tanner.

It wasn’t a porcupine.

Tanner was running directly at ANOTHER bear. And this time it was a Momma Bear. She was encouraging her 2 babies to climb into a nearby tree for protection. As Tanner ran up to her barking wildly, she whipped around and stopped, staring at him, daring him to come any closer. Tanner and this bear stared each other down for a few seconds, only 15 feet apart. I finally came to my senses and stopped running, only about 40 feet from the two animals.

In that moment I realized 2 things. 1) How much I love my stupid dog and 2) How quickly I’d sacrifice him if that bear charged. Fight or flight, baby, it’s real thing–and I was only in flight mode. I know it’s sad, and I’d never willingly sacrifice a dog, but why is it that some dogs are wired to walk (run) directly into death’s arms? You’d think 50 porcupine quills to the face would have taught Tanner not to go poking around with animals he doesn’t understand. But no…

Finally after screaming myself hoarse trying to call Tanner back towards me, he realized that he couldn’t defeat this bear and probably shouldn’t try. He came quickly back towards me, where I shoved him roughly over the log and re-leashed him with a few harsh words and sharp smacks to his nose.

We stayed and watched the bears from a safe(r) distance. The babies climbed back down the tree, staying close to their Mom, and slowly started making their way off into the forest. They crossed a rather large trail in the process and you could hear dogs sounding the alarm in the distance as the bears traveled away.

Deciding it wasn’t worth it to try our luck a 3rd time with the dogs off leash, we called it a day and quickly walked back to the car, only stopping to warn fellow hikers about the bears.

All 3 dogs are happy and healthy, and I’m 99% sure if we saw another bear Tanner would do the exact same thing again. But we love them!

** Kai throughout this last adventure was infatuated with a few kids eating sandwiches and was safely out of harms way**