April 08, 2010

Mutt Muffs

Dazzle has new equipment to help him deal with storms.  They are called "Mutt Muffs" and it's hearing protection for dogs.  They have the same decibel rating as pilot's hearing protection and were originally designed for dogs that fly with pilots in loud private prop planes.  Since Dazzle doesn't like the sound of thunder, but doesn't seem to be affected by other storm factors (barometric pressure, the sight of lightning, etc.) I thought I'd give these a try. I had already tried benydryl, Rescue Remedy and melatonin with no effects on him. 
I resisted the temptation to use them during the last two storms because he wasn't yet readily accepting them.  I have been working on conditioning him slowly to accept them and be comfortable with them near his head, then touching his head, then touching his ears, etc.  He will now willingly put his head under them when I hold them up and has even played and eatten with them on.  As you can see by the photo, he is able to enjoy a bully stick while wearing them and it's currently thundering outside!  During previous storms, he has been trying to get into our skin, pacing, stress panting, shaking, refusing to eat or play, etc.  I think these were a very good investment!
He's not completerly over the stress of storms (can still hear the really loud booms and stresses over those), but it's much better!