Independence Day is coming soon and although it should be a day of celebration, it’s one of the most dreaded holidays for pet owners. Even where fireworks are illegal, there always seems to be someone setting them off near home. For our dogs, this can resemble the destruction of the Earth. The loud bangs and heavy vibrations can be frightening for our dogs and it can become difficult to calm them down during the chaos. Thankfully, there are some things we can do to help ease their stress.
#1 – Stay With Your Dog
Many people feel that staying with your dog during times of extreme anxiety only perpetuates their behavior, but this is likely not the case. Although destructive behavior due to anxiety can be managed with training, you don’t want to begin addressing this issue during a period of extreme fear. Dogs are pack animals and they naturally want to be with their families when they’re afraid, so leaving them alone can greatly worsen the situation. Even if your dog is crated, make sure you stay in the same room with them.
#2 – Provide A Shelter
Dogs naturally want to seek shelter from something that’s frightening them, even if they can’t place their anxiety on any one specific thing (in the case of fireworks, they can usually only hear and feel the scary thing, not see it). Many owners view crates as a bad thing, but it’s really quite the opposite. When used properly, your dog’s crate turns into their safe place or den during times of stress and anxiety. Fill it with your dogs favorite toys, blankets or even some clothes that smell like you to help them feel more comfortable inside. Offering this type of shelter gives your dog the option to safely hide and feel much more secure in their environment.
#3 – Try Natural Therapies
More and more owners are turning towards natural remedies when it comes to managing their dogs’ health. As with any natural treatment, you’ll want to consult your veterinarian to make sure the remedies you use are safe for your pup. For dogs that have mild anxieties, natural therapies seem to work quite well.
#4 – Seek Veterinary Help
Sometimes, especially if the anxiety is severe, natural therapies are not enough to help your dog find relief. In these cases, seeking the help of your veterinarian is ideal. There are anxiety medications that dogs can take regularly or during times of extreme stress, such as on the 4th of July. A professional dog trainer can also help you manage your dog’s anxiety, especially if they become destructive and a danger to themselves. Whatever route you decide to take, or both if necessary, it’s important to remain your dog’s advocate and make sure that whatever you do to help ease your dog’s anxiety will keep them safe and comfortable.
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