Firework Frenzy

By June 23, 2017Dogs, Green Tree Blog

Rocky’s least favorite time of the year is fast approaching, the dreaded fireworks season. Although Rocky is an ardent supporter of all things American, including the 4th of July and he loves a good party as much as anybody, he just cannot tolerate the terrible loud racket of fireworks.
Rocky is not alone; a remarkably high percentage of pets have significant noise phobia, be it thunder, fireworks, or even gunfire. The symptoms vary. It could be the poor critter is extremely frightened, shaking and trying to hide until it’s all over, or like Rocky, becoming hyper-agitated, running and barking uncontrollably. Either way, it’s not good and it seems like the fireworks season gets longer and louder every year.
So what can a pet owner do? There are strategies to ameliorate the problem. Some owners report success by limiting the exposure to the racket, such as isolating the pet in an inner room and playing loud music or running fans to hide the noise, although dogs can sense the reverberation of some fireworks.
The “Thunder Shirt”, a heavy, tight-fitting garment for dogs, has been touted as a possible solution.
There are nutraceuticals that are formulated to decrease fear and anxiety. These contain certain amino acids and/or natural hormones that seem to help. I have a knowledgeable client that swears by these products.
In the last few years, a sedative specifically designed to treat noise phobia in dogs has been released on the market. This is dispensed as a paste and is FDA-approved.
In addition, there are drugs classified as anxiolytics that are often effective. I found these to be helpful in Rocky’s case, but they should be given 30 to 40 minutes before the stressful event.
Unfortunately, no option is 100% effective, but there are things we can do to help our four-legged friends get back to the important things like chasing squirrels and sleeping on the sofa. Rocky says he much prefers a nice, quiet Thanksgiving any day.

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