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Is your dog afraid of fireworks?  Here are some tips and tricks which may help during the upcoming holidays:

  1. Rather than cuddle a frightened dog, try to distract the dog from the disturbing noises with physical activity such as playing ball.
  2. Make sure all pets always are wearing well-fitted collars and securely fastened ID tags. Microchips and tattoos are great ID techniques
  3. Don’t take pets to events with fireworks. 
  4. If fireworks are being set off nearby, or if you’re having guests over for a holiday celebration, find a quiet, secure place to keep your pets. Darkening the room can help. Crating is also a good idea — place the crate in the quietest part of the home. Make sure you put safe chew toys in the crate to occupy and distract the pet during the event. You can close the curtains and turn up the radio, CD player or TV to drown out noise.
  5. Do not leave pets outside, even in a fenced yard, anytime when fireworks might be set off in the distance

If the animal is scared, try to comfort them, but calmly.  The goal is for you to be confident, yet soothing, so your dog will relax during the fireworks.  If you know fireworks are going to be set off, stay home with your dog, or make sure they are being watched and attended to.  Scared dogs can cause massive amounts of destruction and can easily injure themselves in the process.  If your dog becomes extremely stressed, talk with your veterinary provider about having some medication on hand, just in case!  A Thundershirt may also be a good idea to try.    

For additional resources, check out this article from the Whole Dog Journal.

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  • Dr Rick Stockmaster

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