A little less than a week ago, I posted a picture of a scared Koda on my instagram, explaining her blown-up stress during the thunderstorm seasons. For years, Koda had been scared of thunderstorms, which I think is a pretty common cause for dog anxieties. Whenever it’s about to rain, Koda would turn small, and hide herself into a small space. She used to build her own fortress of pillows on our old couch whenever it was about to rain…
But now that the couch had been replaced with one without stiff pillows, every time it rained, she would burry herself under our pillows or blanket on our bed… with her nose out, to breath:
And this would go on and on until the thunders subside… which could take 5-6 hours during the monsoon season here in Singapore. And when she’s like this, she wouldn’t want to come out at all. Not for a meal… and not even for a bathroom break! So there were a few incidents where she peed on our bed, just because she really needed to pee, but was too scared to come out of the blanket. She also could starve herself for hours, skipping her meal, because she was too scared to eat outside of the bed and blanket.
So, when Cia sent me an instruction to do a Doggie Wrap, I had to try it….
It’s basically the same principle as the baby-swaddle. We wrap the anxious dog/baby with a piece of cloth to give a feeling of being hugged and protected. Ari was a bit sceptical, but we were willing to try anything at this point. Besides, all we needed was a piece of scarf… And I had tons of them.
So, since we’ve been getting thunderstorms almost daily, we’ve been trying this method on Koda a few times. And I’m happy to report, it kinda worked!
Of course it didn’t eliminate the anxiety completely, but I think it took off the edge significantly. Normally, during thunderstorms, Koda would totally shutdown, cowering under the blanket. She wouldn’t respond to us at all. But when she’s wearing the wrap, she didn’t seem to need the blanket. She still prefers to stay in our room, and sometimes up on the bed, but she never went under the blanket anymore.
And the biggest change for me was that she could eat during the rain. This was actually the very first time she was eating during rolls of thunder… which hadn’t happened for years!
And after lunch, instead of cowering back into our bed, she actually laid down in front of our front door. Even though her tail was still a bit tucked in between her legs, the rest of her body language and her face was much more relaxed…
I sure hope this would last. At least, we could find a way to avoid her from shutting down out of fear. And made Koda a little bit happier than she used to be.
Thank you Cia!!