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Fireworks, Thunderstorms and Your Dog

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fireworks and dogs
A few years ago, I found a dog running on our street the night of the July 4th holiday. She was terrified. Our SPCA was already closed so I kept her at my house overnight.

I called them the next morning and they said they were full. When I registered surprise, they said this was quite common and often happened after the July 4th holiday, New Year’s Eve and after thunderstorms.

I didn’t even think of calling the pound because I knew when they got full, they immediately started euthanizing.

I kept the dog and tracked down the owner later that day, who didn’t even realize his dog was gone until he went out to feed her that morning and saw she wasn’t there.

Now I know we usually can’t prepare in advance when a thunderstorm pops up but we know when the firework laden holidays are coming and can plan in advance to make them as easy as possible for our fur kids.

Many of these things you can do as soon as you hear a thunderstorm coming too.

Here are my tips:

  • If you have any outside dogs, keep them inside during the festivities or storm.
  • If you are not going to be home and you do have a crate for them, now is the time to use it.
  • Keep them in an interior room if possible and keep windows and curtains closed.
  • Turn the TV or radio on.
  • Make sure they have ID collars, tags or are chipped just in case they do somehow get out of the house and run away.
  • Put a Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap on them. You can get these from Amazon or your local pet store. These shirts use acupressure to help calm your dog. It doesn’t work for every dog but it does work for many of them.
  • Whether you are home with them or not, distract them with a food puzzle toy such as a Kong.
  • If you are home, you can always just hold them and talk gently and calmly to them instead of crating them. Being with mommy or daddy is always comforting to a little one whether human or canine.
  • If your dog has serious anxiety issues about this, contact your vet and ask for a sedative to use. You may not like having to drug your dog, but it beats having them terrified.
  • One of our readers commented that she is having some luck with Quiet Moments Calming Aid. You can get it at the big box pet stores or here on Amazon.
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Have I forgot anything? Is there anything you do to help your dogs through this? If so, let us know in the comments.

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Cathy Mayfield

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

Shadow is always on a leash but she is brave enough to walk out on the porch when I have to open the door to someone.

Cathy Mayfield

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

My chi is already scared to death of everything. I can’t afford a vet. This year she would not go out. I would have to literally carry her out and she would immediately turn and pull me back to the door. She held her poo and pee for at least the last couple of weeks. I had nothing here or could only find same ole, same ole home remedies. Can you give them Benedryl? Last night, she didn’t hear any so she went. Her anxiety causes aggression too!!

Cathy

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

Yes you can give them Benadryl in a pinch. 1mg of Benadryl for every pound of body weight. It's easier with small dogs, to use the children's formula.

Cindy and Buffy

Saturday 4th of July 2020

Thank you for reminding people of the fear & deadly repercussion of fireworks & our beloved Chis. I almost lost Buffy 2 yrs ago when we were outside at night & they let off big fireworks & Buffy ran & I couldn't find her for over 4 hrs I'm in the woods & knew Fisher cats & cyotes are very near by. I couldn't sleep or eat & went back after midnight,nothing. Then a truck came down my dirt road someone knew I walked Buffy on FB when he sent a pic I fell down on my knees & thanked God! A miracle! Now I have her on a tie on my patio which she can roam but now run in fear if it happens again. I'm also following your last week tip on what not to do with Chis no more giving bites of what I'm eating I started it recently & stopped it as soon as I read your post. THANK YOU for improving our lives Cathy!! Happy 4th!

Michaelene Bush

Sunday 29th of December 2019

I think pets react to what their owners react to or former owners.

Cathy

Monday 30th of December 2019

Maybe...but I know loud noises can just be scary to a dog who doesn't understand what they are or where they are coming from.

Sunday 29th of December 2019

I think pets react to what their owners react to or former owners.