Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fireworks and Pets

Happy Independence Day!  

This weekend has been filled with the sounds and sights of fireworks going off nightly. It's also a time when many pets have anxiety issues. This applies mainly to dogs. Cats will likely hide if they have sound phobias.  Dogs may hide or they may show other behaviors - pacing, panting, whining, shaking, clinging to your side, etc.  

Often dogs that have these issues during fireworks demonstrations, also have issues during thunderstorms or gunfire (and other loud noises as well). Interestingly (and not surprisingly) with storms, they generally show signs BEFORE a storm is in sight (they "know" it's coming). 

Owners of these dogs generally know that their pet has an issue during these times. 

There are several things that you can do to help your pet during these times:

1. Do not "reward" this behavior by doing the baby talk/coddle thing - you are only telling the dog this is how they should act. You don't want to punish them, but you want to be non-chalant about it. It's not a big deal to you, so it won't be to them. 

2. There are some good tools out there that can help. A product called a Thundershirt  works by providing a "hugging" feeling around your pet. It's similar to how autistic children are sometimes helped to relax. I PERSONALLY have not used this but definitely would try it. I think the reasoning behind it is sound. There are some good testimonials on it as well.

3. There are also things like  Dog Appeasing Pheromone and Bach's Rescue Remedy. These are sprays or oral supplements. I have no personal experience with either of these. They have their supporters. I know of people with cats and dogs that have definitely seen the Rescue Remedy work for all sorts of stresses. These things are not harmful and could be worth a try.

4. During fireworks, make sure your pet is secure in your home. Some pets (not realizing they are NOT heading to safety) will dart outside during the loud noise and may be confused and get lost or worse yet, run into the road, etc.

5. Call your vet - we can also provide safe sedatives to be given prior to a storm or fireworks. They work well. I personally HAVE used these on my own dog (who now has a storm phobia). 

6. Some simple distractions - other noises (white noise, TV, etc) may help as well as keeping your dog focused on you with activities/obedience commands - let his brain be occupied with THAT instead.

1 comment:

  1. I think four above is the BEST sensible tip!! Hope Zona memories are positive