Fourth of July. Cookouts, campfires, family and friends.
Panic inducing lights and sounds. All. Night. Long.
For many of us, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, random tuesday nights with inconsiderate neighbors, mean long hours of watching your furry friend pace and pant and pace some more.
Clearly we need to help them out, because no one wants to be up all night with a pacing panting dog.
Here are a few tips to get you through the weekend!
Don’t Ace the Fear!
Your vets office will be closed on the fourth. Get your meds today if you know your dog needs them! If your vet is prescribing Acepromazine then please ask for something else! Acepromazine is a paralytic, so while Fluffy might not be pacing and panting, his brain is still freaking out! Medications like Trazodone, and Sileo help to target the fear pathways in the brain and rewire the experience.
Keep Everyone Safe!
Make sure you have your dogs identification tags on their collars, and their microchip information is up to date! This is especially important if you are having friends and family over. Our Animal Control officers are always busiest this holiday weekend because dogs get spooked and run, or someone leaves the gate open. Even though Fido never leaves the yard, the impending doom of the sky exploding is enough to send them running. If you are having friends and family over, consider leaving Fido at a friends house where it is quiet and there is no chance of escape.
Supplements to help soothe!
We will be running Lavender in the diffuser next week. Other options are Adaptil collars and plug ins, L-theanine supplements and my favorite, CBD oil. Not all CBD is created equal since it is not yet FDA regulated. We use Treatibles. It is a bit pricey, but I like this brand over the others that I have tried, both in consistency and effectiveness. (Use The Freckled Paw as a coupon code for a discount.) Some people have success with the Thunder shirt as well. Start putting that on now to make sure Fido is not only associating it with bad experiences. Put it on for 30 minutes after dinner every night this week just to make sure!
A word on Counter Conditioning
If you are really committed to helping your pup through this scary day, start some counter conditioning. Get a big bucket of food and a video of thunder or the New Years firework display. Turn the volume on your cell phone ALL THE WAY DOWN! Start where the noise is barely audible to you. When you get a slight reaction from your dog, like an ear flick or looking around, throw your food on the floor. We want Spot to hardly recognize the sound and get snacks. Once you get no reaction or your pup looking at the floor for food, then you can turn up the volume, one notch! It’s a slow but worthwhile process to have a functioning pup during storms!