It’s that time of year when thunderstorms and fireworks can put a damper on your dog’s summer. So, how can you help your dog feel better when the storms roll through or when the neighbor decides to set off a roll of firecrackers? Here are some suggestions to helping your dog feel safe and overcome their fears.
- Make sure your dog always wears a collar with some kind of ID in case your dog is outside and panics.
- Create a safe place indoors. Many dogs seek out the bathroom and hide behind the toilet. Create a hidey-hole for your dog by placing a heavy blanket over a crate. Place the crate in a basement or a quiet place of the house away from windows. Note: Don’t force your dog into a crate! Let them go in on their own and leave the door open!
- Run a fan or air conditioner, TV or radio. The white noise will help drown out the sounds.
- Kongs… Kongs… Kongs! Keep a few Kongs in the freezer filled with yummy food. IF your dog will eat, offer a frozen Kong!
- Thundershirts or a tight fitting T-Shirt can relieve many dogs in a fearful setting. I have even swaddled my own elder dog in a blanket which gave him great relief.
- Dog Appeasing Pheromone comes in a spray, collar or diffuser. I have used the diffuser in my home, and found it helped keep all my dogs relaxed during storm season.
- Behavior modification before the storms arrive. There are many sound CD’s to help desensitize your dog. Consult a professional trainer if you need help getting started.
- Consult your veterinarian. There are medications that may help!
Dogs can develop a fear of thunder, wind and fireworks as they age. Be empathetic to your dog, but try not to coddle. Set the environment up as much as you can to create a safe place and consult professionals if you need to.