Thursday, July 2, 2009

OH THE MAYHEM!

CRAZY DOG NEWSLETTER
Thursday, 2 July 2009


Is your dog afraid of fireworks? Many dogs are. The loud noise of fireworks can send these dogs into a state of panic. Some dogs have even had seizures during fireworks. Saturday is the 4th of July, so it seemed like the right time to talk about this problem. Many cities and municipalities will be having their fireworks displays this Friday or Saturday night, so if your dog is frightened by the noise, this could help. At this time of year, many dog owners complain about their dog's reaction to fireworks. The combination of loud noises and bright lights can scare dogs, even those that don't normally have a history of noise phobias. Lots of dogs have phobias, and the most common dog phobia is fear of noises. Let me tell you about my friend's family dog, Ginger. She was adopted from the pound as an adult dog, so I have no idea what breed she is. Ginger is absolutely terrified of thunder, gunshots and fireworks. When she hears these noises, she totally panics. I was at their house one night when it started to thunder. Ginger went from being one of the most laid back dog I've ever met to a total manic mess. She was trying to dig her way into the kitchen cupboards, pacing and whining. The noise terrified her, and she was absolutely miserable.
Here is a picture of Ginger having a happy roll in the grass after a nice nap.

Ginger's phobia is not uncommon. Many of our dog lovers have asked about what they can do when their pets become anxious or nervous. It's a real problem, especially now with the upcoming 4th of July holiday.
Some dogs will exhibit signs of fear that can include pacing, panting, trembling, salivating, trying to escape and/or barking. Many dogs will actually injure themselves when trying to escape. (I've even seen dogs that were hit by a car when they tried to flee from noises.) What can you do to help keep your dog stay calm during the fireworks this weekend?
Here are some suggestions:
1. Consider not taking your dog to the fireworks display. Make sure that your dog will be calm at home, or stay home with your dog during the fireworks. Keep your dog confined in a comfortable location if possible.
2. Don't try too hard to reassure your dog during a fearful event with petting, soothing words, or extra attention. This can sometimes exacerbate the problem by reinforcing your dog's fearful response.
3. Some dogs are very sensitive to people's moods and may be influenced by the way that you react to the noise. It is best to act happy and upbeat or to redirect your dog's attention to some absorbing activity.
4. If you must leave your dog at home alone during the fireworks, consider what would make your dog most comfortable. Bring your dog indoors. Would he feel safest in a crate? Try turning on the radio, television, fan or air conditioner as "white noise". Make sure you provide a comfortable hiding place or "safe place" for your dog in case he is scared during the fireworks.
5. Pet anxiety studies have shown that music can have a calming effect on a stressed out pet. I would recommend the Music My Pet CD . This musical CD was created for the specific purpose of calming pets. The classical music tracks were arranged to have a smooth soothing dynamic from beginning to end. And the music is performed using only those instruments that have been proven to have a calming effect on pets (like the harp, flute and piano). Try playing the CD before the fireworks begin to get your dog into a relaxed state, and continue playing it throughout the fireworks.

So, the best way to deal with this issue is to be prepared. Before the fireworks begin, anticipate your dog's reaction to these loud noises. Whenever possible try to avoid exposing your dog to fireworks. If this is not possible, do everything that you can to make your dog feel more comfortable and secure. Talk to your dog in a light, cheerful tone that sends a comforting message that the noise is no big deal. Encourage your dog to find a quiet restful place to wait out the noise. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!
Until next time,
Dr. Jon
P.S. I really believe in the science behind the Music My Pet CD. This soothing music has helped so many pets through stressful situations, and it could help your pet, too.

1 comment:

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Good advice. We clicked on the link at the end, to the music and we get, page cannot be found.

FOR CHANCE, GORDON, HOMER, RADAR, SPENCER, CHANDLER, MAXDOG, LUKE & BLUE, AND SO MANY OTHERS.

National Canine Cancer Foundation

STEP UP TO ADOPT A PET

If you can, please consider opening your home to a homeless animal, preferably a dog or cat or other domesticated animal; livestock does better on farms and wild animals do better in zoos and parks. Your local Humane Society or SPCA or Animal Shelter has a wide selection of could be, should be, pets looking for new homes. If you can't adopt, perhaps you can at least become a sponsor. We'll show you how to help out Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary (AHGRRS) on our blog page, but you can help out any organization of your choice, but please help; contribute or volunteer.
- The Bumpass Hounds and Kitties

PLEASE HELP SPONSOR A SENIOR OR SPECIAL NEEDS GOLDEN

CAN'T ADOPT; BECOME AN ANGEL.
So many Senior and Special Needs Goldens do not find "forever homes". Many of these dogs have above average medical needs and costs, are maintained on "special" diets, or have other extraordinary needs. Your donations can be targeted towards a particular Senior or Special needs Golden Retriever. As a sponsor, you will receive updates about your "special" Golden, and will be mentioned in our quarterly newsletter as the dog's sponsor. We also accept Paypal donations. Please keep in mind that we are a non-profit organization and that your donation is fully tax-deductible. Please just write the Golden's name in the memo line of your check or Paypal submission when sponsoring a Golden Retriever.

A MUST READ FOR THE IN-THE-KNOW CAT

A MUST READ FOR THE IN-THE-KNOW CAT
Recommended by Boru; what more need we say?

TAKE THE PLEDGE

Pledge to Fight Animal Cruelty

GORDON'S PHOTO ALBUM SLIDESHOW

Total Pageviews

BUMPASS HOUNDS PLAYLIST


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones