It’s mid-summer and that means the 4th of July Fireworks are fast approaching. Pet’s afraid of fireworks? Fireworks & Thunderstorm anxiety affects many dogs. There are many ways you can help your pet relieve their anxiety.
CBD Oils and Treats
CBD oils and treats might be of some help for your pets. These are not available in our Online Shop but we do carry an assortment in our shops.
As a reminder, there are no short or long-term negatives to giving a dog a higher level of CBD than what they might be used to...try slowly increasing the amount you give and they might become really calm or even head off for a nap. This is certainly a better alternative than having a stressed-out dog.
Our friends at Austin and Kat have some great suggestions to help our pets through the stress of fireworks and even summer storms.
If you're already using CBD, try increasing the dose in the days prior to an event like the 4th of July and continue through at least the 5th of July. Start increasing the dosage 6-7 days prior to the event and continue a day or two afterward. Make sure you start your first dose before Noon and continue to dose every 4-6 hours through 11 pm so your pet is fully prepared for whatever happens during the Day and the Night.
Training and counter-conditioning before the event can help desensitize your pet to a point where your pet no longer reacts negatively to the various stimuli but this can take some time and patience and is a good long-term solution.
Counter-conditioning your pet uses treats or other toys to your advantage. Associating a positive experience with something that may frighten your dog can often help reduce your pet’s anxiety levels. Have a storm puppy party and toss treats on the floor when it thunders. It can really help them begin to associate thunder with good things like treats. Try to do this before your dog is really anxious. There are CDs available that can help you train without an actual thunderstorm going on.
Here’s an example of how we did this with our dog Foster. He would get very agitated when the smoke alarm goes off and run through the house and be quite anxious. Here’s how we worked with him. We watched a recent episode of Modern Family and a key element in the show was a smoke detector going off. Foster heard the first beep on the TV and began to get anxious. We didn’t want him to be stressed during the entire show so we came up with this solution. He’s clicker trained so we got out some treats and with each beep of the smoke alarm on the show, he got a treat. By the end of the show, he was anxiously awaiting the treats and not worrying about the alarms. So then he began to look to us for treats when he hears the smoke alarm go off instead of anxiously running through the house.
In addition to behavior modification, you can take a natural and holistic approach to reduce your pet’s anxiety through the use of various natural herbs, flower essences, and energy healing. These are safe ways to help your pet deal with their anxiety. Some work right away and some require a bit more time to work in their system. No product or technique will work for every pet but these products are great natural options for your pet.
Four Muddy Paws carries several products that can help reduce your pet's stress levels and our staff can help you decide what fits your situation best.
Heavenly Hounds Calming Chews
Austin and Kat
Bach Flower’s Rescue Remedy
Animal Essentials Tranquility Blend
Pet Natural’s Calming Soft Chews for Dogs and Cats
Herbsmith Calm Shen
Herbsmith Third of July
Ark Natural Happy Traveler
Thunderspray - with Pheremones
Color and music therapy can also be effective in helping your pet in addition to regular energy healing sessions. They can be very helpful both with storms as well as separation anxiety.
An excellent book to read on this subject is Energy Healing for Dogs by Nicole Wilde. She offers numerous holistic solutions and techniques to help your pet deal with their anxiety issues.
Here are some other helpful tips to remember:
Have your dog go to their crate with an extra special treat. Covering your crate can help create a sense of security.
Get out a puzzle game for your dog to enjoy either with you or independently. This is helpful especially when you know a storm is coming in order to tire them out and relax them with some mental stimulation.
Keep out unwanted noises and visual stimuli by keeping them in an interior room with the windows closed and drapes drawn.
Mask other outside noises by keeping the AC on, playing music, having the television on or fan blowing to create some white noise.
Make sure your outside gates and fences are always closed and secure especially during and after guests have visited. Oftentimes guests who don’t have pets will leave the gate door open without thinking and your pet could escape their yard.
With some proper planning and anticipation of possible events that can be troubling to your pet, you can help reduce their anxiety and get through these sometimes challenging events.