If you've been involved in the recent hurricanes sweeping through Texas, you know how traumatic it's been on you and your family. However, you might not realize that it's also been traumatic for your dog. In fact, if your dog was exposed to the storm, such as through evacuations or severe flooding, it could be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This isn't a condition that should be taken lightly. Without special care, and some extra love, PTSD could have lasting effects on your dog. Here are three steps you can take to help your dog through its crisis.
Know the Warning Signs
When it comes to canine PTSD, no two dogs are alike. If you have more than one dog, you may find that one of them came through the storms unscathed, while the other one has turned into a ball of nerves. It's important to remember that neither reaction is wrong. However, your dog that has turned into a ball of nerves will require some extra attention.
The most important thing is that you know the warning signs of PTSD. Some of them include panting, lip licking, uncontrollable yawning, or turning away from people or situations. You may also notice that your dog trembles uncontrollably, or loses control of its bladder unexpectedly. It's important to note that you should also know that your other dog may begin to exhibit signs of PTSD after things calm down. Be sure to watch both pets for warning signs.
Provide a Safe Haven
Once things have settled down, you'll need to choose a safe haven for your dog. This should be a quiet place where your dog can go to feel safe and secure. If possible, let your dog choose the spot, whether it's behind a chair or under your bed. All that matters is that your dog feels comfortable in the spot. As soon as it's chosen its safe haven, make sure that the area remains a designated spot for your dog. This will ensure that it is always able to identify that location as a problem-free zone. It's also important that once your dog retreats to its safe haven, you let it choose when it wants to venture back out.
Seek Professional Help
Bad weather and traumatic experiences can be particularly bad for dogs. They have no way of understanding what's going on around them. If your dog is having a difficult time recovering from the hurricane, it might be time to seek professional help. Contact your veterinarian and schedule an appointment. Your dog may require anxiety medication to overcome its traumatic experience.
To learn more about how to take care of your suffering dog, visit a local pet hospital today.