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My Pet World: How to deal with off-leash dogs that are aggressive

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

Like J. Stein from Holtsville, New York, who had a golden retriever afraid of storms, I have had dogs that were terrified of loud noises and thunderstorms. One dog wanted to be in the dark, so I would either cover her with a blanket (and she would fall asleep) or I would leave the closet door partially open so she could hide under the clothes in the dark. My current six-pound dog didn't like the Thundershirt. It seemed to make her more agitated and she didn't like being left alone.

My solution has been ThunderWunders, a calming dog chew at my local pet store. It is made by the same company that makes the Thundershirt. It doesn't put her to sleep; it just calms her down. Maybe one of these will work for dogs that don't like wearing the vests.

- Sandra, Meriden, Connecticut

Dear Sandra,


I love reader tips as there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to helping our dogs weather thunderstorms. The pet market has developed many over-the-counter products that pet parents can try during storms. If that works for your dog, I am thrilled. Maybe it will work for J. Stein, too.


(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)




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