Dogs and Fireworks: Dealing with Anxiety during July 4th Holiday.
Keep your Holiday Happy.
Remember that many dogs have noise phobias, and the 4th of July can be a fearful time for members of our fur family. Fireworks as well as storms can cause an extreme fear, due to both the sounds, vibrations, and barometric change. Cars, vacuum cleaners, electronic chimes and other noises can also create fear and anxiety.
Make a plan in advance of the festivities to help your dog be calm and happy.
Make your dog happy and take action by making a Plan for a Fear Free Holiday. Find out when the fireworks are starting, or if a thunderstorm is heading your way. By knowing ahead of time, you can implement a strategy, and not be caught off guard. Many herbs, supplements, and medications take time to have full effect. Strategic planning can stop the cycle of fear and anxiety before it winds up.
There are many products available such as shirts that hug and calming treats, tinctures, or oral liquids. You can make a shirt to hug and nurture your dog out of an old t-shirt and a cling bandage. Snugly bandage the chest area, like a hug to calm and quiet a scared child.
Option for a calming treat.
Calming products are available at pet stores and online. I try to use natural products and herbs as they are more easily digestible with less side effects. Prescription medication is available from your veterinarian.
Please give your vet office at least 1 week to get this ready, as your dog may need an examination, or even blood work if he is already on current medications.
I recommend finding a quiet room in a basement, or area where there are no windows that may be vibrating. Find a Happy Place and prepare it to be a room of ZEN!! Have white noise, or calming music available. If your dog is already scared, this is a time to nurture and let him know you are there for him. Talking to him and letting him know that it is just a noise, and that it will not hurt him. Let him know you are the tribe leader, and you will protect him. Meditate, do some yoga, or just watch a movie together. This is a great bonding time for your fur family.
I have 2 products that I prefer.
- Hemp Extract Pet Chews from JillandJoan.com are Vixie Elizabeth’s favorite. She asks for them when a storm is coming our way.
- Tranquil by Dyanamitespecialty.com is a homeopathic spray that can be sprayed in the mouth or rubbed on the gums. There are many great products on the market, but these 2 are the ones I reach for consistently.
Best to play it safe.
Do Not leave you dog unattended during the fireworks. If you must, be sure your dog is in a crate, or safe place, and turn on the TV or music before you leave. Every year many dogs get lost and injured. Please do not let your dog be one of them.
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
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