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Helping your dog cope with fireworks,
thunderstorms and other loud noises

By Dr. Nora Grant

Chances are there’s a four-legged friend on your block with anxiety or fear of a summertime noise. Maybe, it’s your dog and you don’t even know it.

Recent studies indicate more than 83 percent of dogs show a fearful response to fireworks and 65 percent toward thunderstorms. However, only 13 percent of pet owners recognize their dog suffers from fear.

“Fireworks, thunderstorms and other loud noises can trigger fear, anxiety and stress for our dogs similar to a panic attack. It can be a serious issue as one in five dogs goes missing after being scared by loud noises,” said Dr. Todd McCracken, a veterinary services manager with Ceva Animal Health. “In fact, more dogs run away on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, which makes July 5 the busiest day of the year for animal shelters across the country.”

The most common signs of fear in dogs include hiding or trying to escape, barking, panting, drooling, pacing, shaking, chewing, digging, scratching and inappropriate elimination.

Pet owners can prepare their dog for a fear-free firework and storm season by following these steps:

  1. Check Dog Tag ID and Secure Fences
    Double check your dog has an updated name tag on a properly fitting collar so you can quickly be reunited with your dog if it escapes. Be sure your fences are fully secure.

[Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, also recommends permanent pet ID, such as the HomeAgain microchip.]

  1. Use a Calming Pheromone
    Pheromones work by releasing “comforting messages” that remind your dog of the safety of being with his/her mom. The ADAPTIL® Calm Home Diffuser and ADAPTIL® Calm On-the-go Collar are clinically proven to help dogs cope with loud noises.

[Did You Know? Natural supplements, such as Solliquin, can also help relieve noise-related anxiety.]

  1. Create a Safe Place
    Your pet should have access to a safe, secure and comfortable place where sounds or flashes can be shut out. This space can include a bed or blanket for your dog to get comfortable in and some familiar toys.

  2. Play Soothing Sounds
    Play some classical music or turn on the TV to mask outside noises.

To learn more about how to reduce summertime pet anxiety and stress, visit www.SummerNoises.com.

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