Prevent and Treat Noise Anxiety and Phobia before the 4th of July
It’s June and you may be sweating. Yet, your discomfort has nothing to do with outside temperatures. You know the booms and cracks of fireworks are just around the corner. You also know your noise averse dog will tremble, pace, hide, whimper and want to be with you. Noise phobic dogs will amplify those symptoms and begin shaking, barking, eliminating inappropriately, becoming destructive and making every attempt to escape and run away. We’ve seen dogs break through glass and jump out of 2nd story windows!
More pets run away from home on the 4th of July than any other day of the year!
So, what can you do? BE PREPARED. By July 1st or sooner do the following:
- Be sure your pet is microchipped, the chip is registered and your contact information is current with the microchip company
- Be sure your pet is wearing something with reflective properties
- Prepare a safe space for your pet
- Employ nonprescription calming techniques
- Be sure you have contacted us to discuss the possibility of prescription drugs
The first 2 items on the list are self-explanatory, so let’s talk about safe rooms or spaces. Safe areas are escape proof areas. Although simple in statement, preparing a safe area can be challenging. Windows are closed and covered. If the space is a crate, it is a sturdy crate that cannot be shredded or bent out of shape. Provide white noise (music, TV, fans, etc.) to help hide the sound of fireworks. If the safe space is a crate, you can use sound muting crate covers. Remove items from the safe space you don’t want soiled or destroyed and items that could pose a harm to your pet if broken or chewed. Make sure no one can inadvertently open the door and permit your pet the singular moment it takes to escape. Nonprescription calming techniques can be used in the safe room. These include dog appeasing pheromones (Adaptil), Thundershirts, puzzles (Kong with peanut butter) and nonprescription medications like Zylkene, Anxitane, Harmonease, and even melatonin. Prescription drugs have an important place for many dogs. Yet, keep in mind that an advance veterinary and/or pharmacy visit will be needed. Additionally, many prescription medications work best when administered BEFORE the fireworks begin!
Behavior training techniques such as Desensitization, Counter-conditioning, and Relaxation Training can be done, but it’s June and you don’t have that much time. Once the July 4th celebration is over, you may wish to begin these techniques for next year.