I'm looking for advice. We have a poodle that is afraid of her own shadow. Thunderstorms drive her crazy. Our vet recommended Acepromazine. It sounds like a Valium for dogs. Can anyone recommend an alternative medication? Acepromazine can have some potent side effects.
The 4th of July drove my dog crazy. I gave her a small dose of Acepromazine. That put her right to sleep. Does anyone have a recommendation for an alternative medication?
Some people swear by Rescue Remedy. Others use a Thundershirt or something similar. Benadryl isn't holistic but it seems better than Acepromazine.
Here's an article for some physical things you can do. I have a dog that hides in the shower during fireworks. It seems to be something that gets worse over time, not better. My last dog, before he passed away, lost much of his hearing the last year of his life. I was actually grateful because he snoozed through fireworks.
10 steps to calm dogs afraid of thunder, lightning storms - USATODAY.com
An alternative would be to positively condition the dog to loud noises like thunder, fireworks, or gunshots. This sort of conditioning is standard fare for introducing bird-dogs to gunfire. You need an accomplice to trigger the noise at a reasonable distance, so it is audible but not overly intense, and the owner treats and praises the moment the big-noise happens. Over time (as the dog's fear didssipates) the noise source is moved closer and closer in as the treat/praise routine builds positive associations with the big-noise.
I'd argue that this is the most "holistic" way to treat noise fear-anxiety as it doesn't involve drugs or medications, and instead relys on counter-conditioning.
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