Is there a sedative I can give to my GSD-mix during thunderstorms & fireworks?My husband & I have a 10-year-old German Shepherd / Lab mix who is terrified of the sounds & vibrations during fireworks (going on now due to the holiday) and thunderstorms. He has always been this way. Symptoms are typical, from what I can tell: uncontrollable shaking, excessive panting & drooling, tries to access somewhere in our home that seems more insulated from the noise, etc.When he was younger, we would give him a pill prescribed by our vet that was a sedative. However, a friend notified us a few years back that most sedatives do not actually calm the dog; they simply make it more difficult for him to express his anxiety that remains in full-effect in his mind. We asked the vet about this, and she confirmed that to be largely the case. So, from then on, we have simply tried to be calm with him, and let him self-soothe as much as possible until the fireworks / thunder stops or he falls asleep from exhaustion.Fast-forward to now, and we're concerned he may harm himself due to his age. Is there anything we can give him on such occasions that will truly calm him, and not just make him appear more calm? If not, what is the best (mildest) sedative we can give him to make sure he doesn't go into cardiac arrest during one of these episodes?Stats:- 80-ish pounds, large & slender GSD build- I give him daily: fish oil, senior dog multi-vitamins, and glucosamine supplements- He lives indoors other than about 20-30 min of potty breaks, once in the a.m., once at night- He is in fantastic health otherwise (knock on wood), and sees his vet once per year for a check-up- We have 2 other dogs who (thankfully) are not bothered by thunder / fireworks, but who get anxious once he's in an "episode."- He went though a basic training course at Petsmart when he was 1, and is generally very well-behaved and well-socialized- We bought & tried the ThunderShirt on 3 occasions, but it didn't seem to help, so we've stopped using itAny ideas are greatly appreciated! Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX Independence Day!
Type of Animal: German Shepherd Dog
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 10
Name of Dog: Boomer
Other sedatives in the past, self-soothing, distraction, ThunderShirt.
Hello,You have a some choices with Thunderstorm or Fireworks Phobia. The first is Benedryl at 1-2 mgs per pound of body weight every 8 hours. This will make your dog sleepy. (It is not as effective as the other treatments I have listed here).
You can use regular Plain benedryl tablets. I do not recommend the liquid since it can be bitter and harder to get down.
Two of my favorite options for thunderstorm and Fireworks Phobias is Melatonin which is the next option, You can use is Melatonin which can be purchased where Vitamins are sold. This is excellent for Thunderstorm and loud noise Phobias. Melatonin is recommended by many vets for Noise Phobias as well as the Canine Epilepsy foundation.
Then there is a product called Composure. This works for calming anxiety in Pets and is also used for cats as well as dogs. It comes in chew form and liquid form.
This is a link for the chews: http://www.amazon.com/Vetri-Science-Composure-Mini-Bite-Sized-Chews/dp/B001WN581U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top or for larger dogs: http://www.amazon.com/Composure-Medium-Large-Dogs-Chews/dp/B001WOOC9S
This link is for the liquid: http://www.vetriscience.com/composure-liquid.php
The other option is seeing a canine behaviorist to help work through the phobias may help to work through the problems you are having. In my Personal opinion, I would use the Melatonin and Composure work with the behavior modification to help alleviate the problem.
Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
The dose of large dogs is 3-9mgs up to 3 times a day as needed. In the last link I gave you, it has the dosing near the bottom of the page. The Canine Epilepsy foundation recommends Melatonin. The Composure Chews are also excellent, but you would need to order them. They are all natural. Joan
Hi Jenny,I'm just following up on our conversation about Boomer. How is everything going?Joan