Fireworks Anxiety

If your dog has anxiety around loud noises, NOW is the time to prepare for the 4th of July.

Acute, extreme anxiety can be especially harsh for older dogs and dogs with chronic disease. The anxiety, if severe, can bring on symptoms that were otherwise under control. This can also be a trigger for seizures in dogs that have known seizure disorders.

Anxiety will elicit a flight-or-fight stress response and release a flood of chemicals and hormones, like adrenaline, into your dog’s system. The fight or flight response can lead to
dogs bolting and acting out of character.

A well-trained dog may not respond to your voice commands if in this heightened state of anxiety. This can lead to very dangerous risks such as being hit by a car or getting lost.

Once this heightened anxiety state occurs, it is much harder to get it under control. Therefore, it is more effective to prepare for the anxiety before the fireworks start.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Calm Through the 4th of July Celebrations

Calming Methods

1. If your dog has mild anxiety around loud noises then consider mild, more natural calming remedies such as CBC, melatonin, L-theonine,
Valerian, and Chamomile.
Essential oils that can also help include: Frankincense, Rose Otto, Hops, and Cornflower hydrosol.
2. If you know your dog has moderate to severe anxiety around loud noises, then make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss stronger anti-anxiety medications such as trazodone, gabapentin, acepromazine and valium.
3. Thundershirts may work for some dogs. This works for dogs like a weighted blanket would work for us. The fitted shirt applies a gentle, constant pressure that can have a dramatic calming effect. Click here for more.
4. Distraction – this can be a huge help when preventing anxiety in your dog. Have his favorite chewable bone such as a frozen raw bone, betterbone, or yak Chew available for emergency distraction. Keep frozen peanut butter kongs in the freezer. A lick mat with peanut butter or mashed sweet potato is also a great way to change his focus.
5. Set up a comfortable space that is quiet where your dog can hang out during fireworks
6. Play white noise to try to drown out the fireworks
7. Comfort your dog

Safety

  • Be sure your dog has a collar on with accurate I.D. information
  • Check your fences to be sure your dog can’t escape
  • Consider microchipping your dog

I wish you and your dog a Safe and Happy 4th!!