Summer thunderstorms and celebratory fireworks are horrors for those unfortunate dogs that suffer from a noise phobia. Its a phobia that is more common than we think and can be helped by looking at natural remedies that have no side effects.
Anti-anxiety drugs such as Prozac and Buspar can work but take 3-4 weeks to take effect and also can have side effects. Looking at natural alternatives seems a better option. Tryptophan is found in complex Carbohydrates so by feeding your dog this kind of diet you will give him a natural boost. Tryptophan is in fact a precursor for Serotonin and Serotonin effects mood. When the dog eats carbohydrates this stimulates the production of insulin which in turn increases the uptake of Tryptophan and so increases the level of Serotonin. Although this method works in theory there is no hard evidence or statistics to back it up. One natural Remedy called flower essences such as Rescue Remedy was developed by an English medical Doctor Edward Bach. Each liquid is an extract of flowers which effect different aspects of emotional well-being in humans and animals. Of these Flower remedies Rescue Remedy is the best known and has a calming effect. The conclusion on how effective these remedies are varies. Some say it works immediately and others maintain that it takes four to eight weeks to have an effect on dog’s emotions. At the end of the day it will not do any harm to try it.
Another suggestion is the use of Melatonin. This is a natural hormone that regulates our sleep and wake pattern, called circadian rhythms. Studies have indicated that provided the Melatonin is given before the noise occurs it can be 80% effective. Another use for Melatonin has been with search and rescue dogs that have to travel on helicopters or planes to different areas .The Melatonin lets them relax throughout the flight and also the dogs are still be able to perform their search duties when they arrive. This was something that was affected when pharmaceutical drugs were used; The dogs found it hard to waken fully and so were not able to do their jobs 100%. As Melatonin was originally derived from the pineal gland of cows the process was expensive. The pharmaceutical Industry now produce it synthetically. Make sure if you decide to try this method that it is pure melatonin and not mixed with any other herbs.
Finally…if music is your thing then studies have also found that simple classical music performed on the piano produced a calming effect on 70 percent of dogs in shelters and 85 percent of dogs in homes. Before going down the route of the natural remedies trying a classical CD is worth a shot and may even save you the bother of trying anything esle.