My heart goes out to all of the dogs in the USA who have to suffer through 4th of July celebrations and their associated fireworks.
For many dogs, fireworks are no fun…
- Thundershirts and anxiety wraps. These shirts work on the basics of acupressure and they help to stimulate acupressure points that induce a calming effect.
- DAP = Dog Appeasing Pheromone A pheromone is a natural chemical that animals, especially mammals, secrete. D.A.P. is the pheromone that bitches secrete when they have puppies and are lactating. Within 3-5 days of giving birth, the bitch secretes this pheromone and it has a calming effect on her puppies. Scientists have isolated the chemical structure of the pheromone and re-created it. I recommend spraying it in your house and around the dog’s bedding in the later afternoon – before sunset.
- Sedatives – for a dog that is truly overwhelmed by fireworks, prescribed sedatives from your vet are a short-term solution
- Diversion and management – this consists of things like isolating your dog in your basement or garage (inside the car, with the radio on) to divert their attention. By removing them to an environment where they can hear the fireworks less readily, you are removing them from the stressor – and hence, the stress response that follows.
- Remove your dog to a quieter location, perhaps a holiday home in the country or a friend’s place out of town. If they can’t hear the fireworks, they can’t get stressed.
- Massage – get your massage therapist to recommend massage strokes and acupressure points that you can stimulate to encourage your dog to relax.
Long term solution: Please lobby your local communities to ban the use of private fireworks and to limit fireworks to licensed public displays. That way, people can enjoy fireworks but also limit our dogs’ exposure to this stressful event.