The Fourth of July is not a favorite holiday for our canine friends. Maybe your dog paces, pants, barks, drools, is uncharacteristically destructive or just hides and shakes. Regardless, you want to help your dog feel less stressed this time of year. Here are some tips:
- Depending on the depth of your dog’s fear, you should speak with your veterinarian about whether anti-anxiety medications can help. If you don’t like the idea of medication, ask your veterinarian about alternative supplements that might help. Melatonin, DAP collar and diffuser, Rescue Remedy, etc.
- Other non-medication alternatives that can be coupled with supplements, or used alone, include things like Thundershirts (www.thundershirt.com) and Anxiety Wraps (www.anxietywrap.com)
And if your dog will tolerate it, check out Mutt Muffs: http://www.safeandsoundpets.com/muttmuffs.html which are exactly what you think they are: ear muffs specifically designed for the canine head and ears to help eliminate noise.
- Create a safety area for your dog. This is wherever your dog is going to be the most comfortable. This may be their crate draped with blankets, a bed in your closet, a blanket fort in basement, a safe place in the bathroom, etc. Set up the safety area before the fireworks start and make it a positive place by feeding treats or meals in the area, introducing new toys there, etc. Make sure that your dog has easy access to their safety area.
- Consider running a white noise machine, a loud fan, some soothing music, or a neutral TV station like the Food Network to help create some background noise and muffle the boom of fireworks.
- Make sure all your windows and doors are shut tight and locked. Make sure your dogs (and cats!) are kept inside with no chance of escape! The booming of fireworks is VERY disorienting to all animals and this time of year so many go missing. So please ensure your pets are kept safely indoors and make sure their microchip information is updated and current.
And please remember that neighborhood firework commence before the fourth and continue after so plan accordingly. Critter Queen wishes you a safe and happy 4th!