The 4th of July is just around the corner and summer storm season is upon us. Both of these come, not only with fun and excitement, but also a lot of noise.
While people usually enjoy fireworks and get a thrill out of storms, our dogs tend to stress out, develop anxiety, and get fearful of the loud sounds that come with these seasonal staples. This can cause them to shake, hide, try to escape, and even pose a threat to pet health.
Luckily, helping your dog stay calm during loud events can be fairly easy with the right information. These tips from our expert veterinarian will help you keep your dog and pets healthy and free from anxiety during thunderstorms and fireworks this season.
Distract your dog with play or pet treats.
Enticing them to play fetch, distracting them with their favorite toy or pet treat, and taking them for a walk can get their mind off of their fear.
Provide a place for your dog to hide.
Remember when you were a kid and hid under the blankets during thunderstorms? It made you feel safe and secure. This is also true for many dogs. Giving them a crate or a confined place to hide can often make them feel safer and relaxed.
Sounds simple right? Your dog feeds off your energy – so if you are calm, your dog is more likely to remain calm. Being calm helps convince your dog that everything is ok. Remember, your tone of voice will also communicate a peaceful demeanor so speak to him or her in a happy voice and don’t punish your dog for being fearful.
Play some calming music or sounds.
Many pets respond to music and something soothing can help to ease your pet’s nerves as well as your own. If you notice they respond well to music, you may also try desensitizing your pet to the sounds that scare them, such as thunderstorm CDs, which help them become accustomed to the noise.
Have your veterinarian prescribe a sedative for your pet.
If nothing else works, or if your pet becomes very destructive, it may be best for him or her to receive a prescribed sedative from your veterinarian.