Freedom from fireworks and other noise fears

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Bailey the Chinook - Photo by Riley

Bailey the Chinook – Photo by Riley

A sudden intense boom transforms your mellow dog into a frantic ball of motion. Panicking, leaping through windows, jumping fences, charging out into traffic. Pets can develop noise phobias at any time and at any age. Once the problem emerges, it is very hard to overcome, and there is no one “cure” to fit all noise phobic dogs.

Desensitize your pet to various sounds. Introduce them gradually and give them time to overcome their fear and develop confidence.

Special Effects tapes include thunderstorms and firecrackers. With your pet in a familiar room, play the tape at the lowest volume and continue your normal activities without acknowledging the sounds.

Don’t Coddle your pet when there is a loud noise, this only reinforces their fear. Ignore the noise and in a happy voice encourage your pet to perform a simple command.

Strategic Planning

  • Exercise your dog in the late morning to help him sleep through the fireworks.
  • Walk your dog and let them relieve themselves a few hours before the fireworks start.
  • Stay home with your pets.
  • Don’t leave your pets outside.
  • Lock your doggie door to prevent a panicked escape.
  • Shut windows, close blinds and draw the curtains.
  • Turn on the air conditioning and a television or radio to help block out sounds from outside.
  • Play an indoor game with your dog.
  • Give your pet a toy stuffed with treats or peanut butter to help distract them.
  • See your veterinarian to be certain that a sudden reaction to loud noises is not a medical issue.
  • In severe cases, see your veterinarian for anti-anxiety medicine or tinctures to help your pet through the holiday.

The post appeared on Minneapolis Dogs Examiner and is used here with permission from the author, Kathleen Riley-Daniels

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