Some dogs aren’t bothered by loud noises. But others, even the fiercest canine, can turn into a quivering mess when there are thunderstorms. And July 4th can be a nightmare for many dogs. Here are some ways to help your dog battle the fear of loud noises:
- Be proactive. If you know there will be fireworks in your neighborhood, of if a storm is predicted, make sure your dog gets lots of exercise earlier that day.
- Be sure your dog is wearing a secure collar and ID. When panicked, dogs can make like Houdini and disappear.
- Never take your dog (or any pet) to a fireworks display. And don’t keep any pet outside during a storm or the July 4th holiday.
- Talk to your veterinarian about a drug called Sileo, which can help many dogs cope with loud noise. Sileo is a gel that is easy to administer along your dog’s gum line. It is hy-prescription only.
- Provide white noise distractions: keep the air conditioning on and the windows shut. Turn on the TV or radio or put on some soothing music (not the 1812 Overture!). Fans or sound machines also help mask outside noises.
- Keep the curtain drawn and the blinds shut. Dogs tend to feel more comfortable during loud noises if the outside world is shut out as much as possible.
- Try a Thunder Shirt or make a simple one at home with an old T-shirt fitted snugly around the dog.
- Let your dog hang out in a safe space. If he likes his crate, that’s a good option. Some dogs like bathrooms or even shower stalls. Wherever your dog feels more relaxed – even if it’s under the bed – let him stay there. Provide some fun chew toys or Kongs to help distract Fido.
- Act confident around your dog and don’t react to the Bang! Boom! outside. He is depending on you to be the alpha.