Preparation for dog noise anxiety can save you from another holiday in the closet cuddling your fearful dog
While July Fourth is a fun-filled holiday for humans, canines think otherwise! Thinking about dog safety can make or break your holiday. Many dogs show fear during loud or unfamiliar noises but a truly anxious dog can be a danger to themselves.
More pets go missing on July 4th than any other time of the year, and July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters across the United States.
Our #1 priority here at Wags & Wiggles is to keep your four-legged children safe and happy, so we’ve compiled a list of ways to do just that! Here are some tips on managing your dog’s noise anxiety:
1) Keep your dog safe at home, or here with us –
Never take your pup to any celebration with fireworks. Many dogs are easily frightened by loud noises and will try to get away at all costs. We highly recommend keeping them safe and comfortable at home or bringing them in to stay with us!
Both facilities are far enough away from any major fireworks displays, so boarding dogs are totally unaffected by any firework noises. In addition, we play classical music at night through our kennel rooms, keeping Waggers nice and calm. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your dog is sleeping safely and soundly here while you celebrate the holiday.
2) Use calming essential oils to manage your dog’s noise anxiety-
Lavender, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Serenity, Balance, and Vetiver essential oils can all improve your dog’s anxiety. Use them aromatically leading up to the events and apply 1-2 drops topically over the chest, back of the neck, and the throat.
3) Try natural supplements and pheromones instead of sedatives –
Sedatives can actually make a dog’s anxiety worse. Sedatives don’t reduce fear, they just make your dog incapable of doing anything about it. Try natural supplements, such as melatonin, instead of prescription drugs. Melatonin is a chemical produced in the brain and can reduce anxiety without actually sedating your pup. Consult your vet for the appropriate dosage.
D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) is a natural pheromone produced by mother dogs to soothe puppies but can help calm down dogs of any age. D.A.P. collars, sprays, and diffusers are available for purchase.
Ear plugs or cotton balls may help as a temporary solution for dog noise anxiety. Consult your vet first so you don’t hurt your dog’s ears.
5) Distract your pup with a tasty treat –
While it’s common knowledge that chocolate and alcohol can be toxic, many people are unaware that onions, grapes, raisins, fruit pits and some nuts can be deadly as well. Dog noise anxiety can cause a normally well-mannered dog to act out and eat strange things. Instead of bringing your dog to the barbecue, leave them at home with a stuffed frozen Kong! If you’re in a hurry, peanut butter is a quick and easy filling. There are also some delicious Kong recipes available online, like this one.
6) Cannabidiol (CBD) can be useful in managing dog anxiety-
CBD is one of nearly 100 cannabinoid extracts from the cannabis plant. It does not produce a high, nor is it psychoactive. In addition to helping with dog noise anxiety, CBD can help with inflammation, seizures, pain, cancer, and more. Read more about CBD products.
Canna-pet makes biscuits and capsules for your pup. 83.2% of customers reported that Canna-Pet helped relieve their dog’s anxiety, while 64.8% of customers reported Canna-Pet specifically helped thunderstorm and/or fireworks phobias.
7) Invest in a Thundershirt –
A Thundershirt is a useful tool for reducing dog noise anxiety. We use them here in our facility for overly nervous or overly excited dogs as well. The concept is similar to infant swaddling. It applies gentle, constant pressure, almost like a hug. It truly makes a difference!
8) Sound Therapy –
Play calming music before the fireworks start when your pup is relaxed. Some studies suggest Reggae music best suited for dogs. Your dog will start to associate the music with being calm and happy. Continue to play the music through the fireworks show and bedtime. This has been clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Try The Calm Your Canine Series (Vols. 1-3).
9) Counterconditioning –
Counterconditioning is a type of therapy based on the principles of classical conditioning that attempts to replace negative emotional responses to a stimulus with positive emotional responses. You can use the Sounds Good CD – Fireworks to counter-condition your dog. If you expose your dog to firework noises and reward them when they’re calm, they’ll start to associate the scary fireworks noises with treats, reducing their anxiety over time.
10) Make sure your pup is microchipped –
Always be prepared! Noise anxiety can invoke the flight-or-fight response in dogs. This can cause dogs to escape and run away. Collars and name tags can fall off, so make sure you get your dog microchipped. If your dog winds up at an animal shelter, the first thing they’ll do is scan your pet for a microchip. Consult your veterinarian, or come to one of our Dental & Vaccine clinics.
If you’re still struggling with managing your dog’s noise anxiety on your own, don’t hesitate to ask us for help! Register for a private lesson.