How It Works
How do dogs know that an electrical storm is coming - often before we do?
Research shows that dogs sense the static charge buildup before a thunderstorm. This same charge, if it gets big enough, produces lightning. Knowing that, it makes sense for dogs to be afraid and seek shelter. It is an "early warning" system for lightning.
Excessive fear, like that of a phobia, is more of a nuisance than a help. Some dogs respond with extreme excitement and fear bordering on panic. They are difficult or impossible to console.
Dogs naturally try to escape the static charge by moving toward items that are electrically grounded. Many thunderstorm-phobic dogs seek shelter in the basement, around the toilet, shower, tub or near pipes. They also may try to hide or get underneath something. Favorite spots are often the bathtub (if made of porcelain coated cast iron) or the car.
When properly used, the Storm Defender cape will reduce the dog's anxiety. The cape has a special metallic lining that discharges a dog's fur and shields him from the static charge buildup reducing his sensitivity to the charge. The dog gets relief, and after a few storms begins to learn that the secondary triggers like rain, wind, thunder, barometric pressure and smells are no longer to be feared. With the cape on, the dog feels as though he has found a safe place.
The electrical activity is only loosely related to rain. We can have charge without rain such as "heat lightning" or rain without charge such as "April showers." Since humans are largely insensitive to this charge, we must take our cues from the dog. It is very difficult to calm a dog once they have reached full panic, so promptness is essential.
How to Use The Storm Defender Product
The Storm Defender cape gives relief to dogs who are excessively afraid of thunderstorms. It must be put on when the dog first begins to get agitated due to an oncoming electrical thunderstorm. The cape reduces the dog's sensitivity to the static charge that precedes and accompanies a thunderstorm. It may be removed when the electrical activity has passed. The cape is for indoor use only.
Some learning is involved. The maximum efficiency is reached after the dog has experienced two or three thunderstorms with the cape on. Timing is crucial! The cape must be put on before the dog has reached high agitation, which may or may not coincide with rain.
Complete instructions are included with the cape. Follow these simple guidelines:
- Put the cape on when the dog first notices something.
- Learning is involved. If you usually give your dog drugs during storms, consult your vet. Certain drugs may make the learning process more difficult.
- If your dog has separation anxiety, do not put the cape on and leave.