Here it is again.. July.. time for people to put off firecrackers and fireworks pretty much all month long. Lots of people and kids like firecrackers and fireworks.
You know who doesn't love them?? Pets and Pet Owners !!!
I personally hate them only because I don't like to see my dog in so much "stress" from them. It is horrible to watch him try and hide from these loud noises he doesn't understand.
I had a dog named Anakin once that actually tried to crawl behind a toilet to get away from the noises of firecrackers and ended up getting stuck behind there. It was awful. Back then I really didn't know what could be done to help. Well, now I know.
Here are some tips to keep your dog calm during firecrackers and/or fireworks !
- ALWAYS keep your dog indoors when fireworks are going off. Dogs are already freaked out to begin with and they are on high alert which means that could run off and get lost. Always make sure they have current ID tags on them just in case they run away. Shelters are filled with stray dogs that have run off in fear of fireworks.
- One of the things that I use is the Thundershirt. My dog Sebastian hates fireworks and this seems to work for him. Calms him right down. Here is the information regarding the Thundershirt: http://www.thundershirt.com/
- It's usually very warm during July, so put on the air conditioner and close all of your windows. Having the windows closed with drown out some of the noise and having the air conditioner on will add to that.
- Some people have said that putting calming music on has helped their pets. So try some calming music in the background.
- Giving your dog a kong toy filled with treats or peanut butter will also help distract them. However, "panicked" dogs are usually only focused on the noise so getting rid of or drowning out the noise is the only thing that will help (see steps 3 and 4).
- Contact your veterinarian for either an herbal relaxant or an anti-anxiety medication.
- If your dog is in a crate and feels his crate is his "home".. let him stay in his crate and drape with a heavy towel to help drown out the noise.
- If you have a basement that you can hang out in.. excellent place to hang out. Basements will really drown out the noise.
- Stay with your pet and comfort them, HOWEVER, do not fuss too much over their anxiety as this actually can increase their anxiety by allowing them to feel your anxiety.
- If you won't be staying at home with your pet during fireworks, make sure before you leave the house you do all of the steps above.