Leroy wants to make sure that everyone stays safe today! Here are some great tips from our vet, Dr. Reisner. We are sharing some Do’s as well as Don’ts 🙂
1. Don’t assume your dog will be fine, especially if he has shown signs of fear — trembling, panting, pacing and restlessness — of booming noises in the past. Pay attention to the fear by redirecting activities, food and muffling outside noises. Reassure to your heart’s content – the Fourth can be a scary day for your dog!
2. Don’t scold or reprimand your dog for behaviors based in fear. Panicked dogs may dig, chew and scratch at barriers (whether trying to go out or to come in), urinate and defecate, or relentlessly solicit attention.
3. Don’t leave your dog outside unleashed and unattended. Frightened dogs are very adept at jumping, digging and escaping.
4. Don’t take your dog to the community party – July 4th picnics are followed by fireworks, and your dog should be nowhere near the fireworks.
5. Don’t give your dog medications without a veterinary prescription or at least a conversation; human sedatives can increase agitation in dogs, and acepromazine (a commonly used dog tranquilizer) might increase sensitivity to noise. Yes, some medications can be helpful, but they also have side effects and interactions. Please talk to your veterinarian first.
6. Unless your dog is deeply in love with his crate and goes there on his own when stressed or frightened, do not leave your dog alone in a crate during fireworks. Frightened dogs, especially those unaccustomed to being crated (or shut into a room), can severely injure themselves – or worse – trying to escape.
Five tips to Finesse Fireworks Fear:
1. Turn on every background noise device in your home including TV, radio, fans, and sound machines. Download a free ambient sounds app such as “White Noise Lite”. Shut the windows and turn on the AC if you have it.
2. For your dog’s sake, stay home on the Fourth. Since you’ll be home anyway, watch a Harry Potter marathon (see #1).
3. Before the fireworks start, cook up an irresistible food such as chicken breast, special meat cookies, popcorn. Cut meat into tiny pieces and stock a treat bag. Feed one piece at a time to your dog throughout the fireworks to countercondition and distract. If your dog is willing, make a game of it and ask her sit, down, shake hands and other distracting cues. Freeze a Kong with kibble mixed with baby food. Feed dinner through the toy.
4. If your dog likes to nest in a corner, closet, under a table when frightened, prepare her favorite spot with blankets and make it into an inviting sanctuary.
5. If your dog is nervous, go ahead and reassure him. He is frightened – he will not feel rewarded for being terrified. He will feel reassured.
And we also found this cute graphic from our friends at OP Barks with some statistics on missing pets. Are your dogs chipped and wearing their ID tags?! Safety first. We hope you have a great day and that all your pets are in their favorite spots in the house with lots of fans on. Enjoy! 🙂