Many pets have noise fears and July 4th is a terrible time for these pets and their families. If you know your pet has difficulty with fireworks you should know there are many options to help them; however, don’t wait until the last minute. Contact your veterinarian now to find out what options you have to help your pet. There are many medications that can be used, there are certain music cd’s and other ancillary anxiety aids that may help. For those of you who really want to get at the root of the problem, you can do behavior modifications using noise recordings! Please note, this does NOT mean blasting sounds of fireworks and hoping your dog gets better.
What you should not do:
1. Ignore this issue ( your pet is genuinely terrified and or anxious and deserves relief)
2. Punish your pet for this behavior ( that includes yelling at them)
3. Call your vet while your pet is in the middle of being fearful and asking for meds at that time. This is likely not to be as effective as getting meds on board prior to the fireworks starting ( Of course, this is better than doing nothing).
What you should do:
1 Call your vet prior to July 4th. There are better medications out there now a days than the old standard Acepromazine. There are a class of medications called benzodiazepines that can be really helpful with acute fears like fireworks.
2. Offer you pet very high value foods during the thunderstorm ( peanut butter in a Kong – freeze it to last longer).
3. Try and block out noises of the fireworks by playing white noise or by playing calming classical music ( Throughadogsear.com)
4. Try playing with your dog during fireworks.
5. Try the Thundershirt.
There will be many of you who will read the above and know that your dog is too nervous to eat, play etc.. If this is the case, they need more help. Call your vet or my office to set up an appointment to discuss options.