Many dogs are afraid of fireworks.
It’s such a common problem, yet dog owners are often at a loss about how to help.
Since the Fourth of July is coming up here in the United States, I wanted to reach out to a couple of dog owners who have found ways to help their dogs overcome or at least deal with their fear of fireworks.
I hope this post will be a place for others to share their questions and ideas on what has worked and what hasn’t, so please share your tips!
How to help a dog that's scared of fireworks
Rodrigo the border collie mix
Last year was the first Fourth of July that her dog Rodrigo wasn’t a “bundle of nerves,” according to Kim Gauthier, who maintains the blog Keep the Tail Wagging. Read more about how she helps her dogs through fireworks here.
“I think what helps Rodrigo the most is a heavy day of activity,” she said. “The difference was a long morning walk, many play sessions and fewer naps during the day.”
[quote_center]”I think what helps Rodrigo the most is a heavy day of activity.”[/quote_center]
She said she will also use a product called Canine Calm (affiliate link) for Rodrigo because it was effective during the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Canine Calm uses pure, essential oils to help dogs relax, according to the company's web site.
Gauthier is the owner of four dogs, and this will be the first Fourth of July for her two pups, Zoey and Scout.
“I’m going to play it by ear with them,” she said. “I believe they’ll be fine with a day of exercise and bully sticks.”
She plans to stay calm and act like it’s just another day, making a point not to coddle her dogs if they are afraid.
Jakey the cattle dog mix
Terri Jay has not been able to decrease the fear of her 75-pound dog named Jakey.
“I have just developed ways of helping him cope,” she said.
She uses products such as Rescue Remedy (affiliate link) or Benadryl to “knock him out” and said these really help. She also makes a point to stay calm so her dog doesn’t pick up on her emotions.
“Getting upset because your dog is upset just makes it worse,” she said.
Since Jay works as a pet psychic, she said she is able to communicate with her dog to let him know the fireworks won’t hurt him.
For other dog owners dealing with the same issue, she recommends pre planning medications for the dog through a veterinarian and making sure the dog has a safe, secure place in the house. She has also seen success with a Thundershirt.
German shepherds Sammy Jo and Lucia
Leslie Munroe describes her two German shepherds as “chickenhawks” because they are afraid of fireworks, thunder and lightning.
Munroe also tried Canine Calm for her dogs and said it worked wonderfully. Her dogs laid down and “looked downright bored.”
“After five to six years of being pawed, climbed on and having them sit on me in their angst, what a relief,” she said. “I always have a bottle on hand now.”
[quote_center]”After five to six years of being pawed, climbed on and having them sit on me … what a relief.”[/quote_center]
She has also tried ignoring her dogs, babying them, getting their crates out for them to get into, making a spot in the closet for them to hide in and letting them go into the basement.
“The Canine Calm is the only thing that works,” she said. “I just had to get it out Sunday night for a big storm.”
What are some things that have helped your dog deal with fireworks?
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