Yet, I can't convince my dogs that our block is not being invaded by monsters from outer space.
They run from window to window every time there is an explosion- barking at every bang, dutifully protecting our homestead from bombs and missile attacks.
I believe they are not an exception--4th of July can be rough on our pets. Many are terrified.
Tips to help you & your dogs deal with the 4th of July
Practically speaking one would play a video of fireworks or a CD at a very very low volume.....slowly turning the speakers up--Only If the pet acts and looks relaxed. There are lots to chose from on You Tube, and professionally made CDs are avaialble for sale online.
The speakers are turned down at the very first sign of panting or other signs of fear.
This is sort of like "the frog in boiling water" story, according to which-- if you put a frog in boiling water it will of course immediately jump out to escape the danger. Yet if you put it into cool and pleasant water and very gradually turn up the heat, the frog won’t notice until the water is boiling. Or so the story goes.
|Scared chihuahua puppy|
Create a safe haven where the dog can escape to-this might be an airline carrier, a closet, a bathroom or the space under your bed. Window coverings should be closed and music played to mask the sounds. There is a fine line between rewarding the "state of anxiety" with attention thus reinforcing the undesirable fearful behavior, and a calm owner’s comforting presence to help a noise- phobic dog cope with overwhelmingly scary stimuli.
Medications: check with your veterinarian before administering any of the following:
- For small dogs an oral dosage of 0.5 - 1 mg once a day.
- For medium-sized dogs 1 - 3 mg of melatonin by mouth, about 2 times a day.
- For large sized dogs the amount can vary between 3 to 9 mg.
I have no personal experience with melatonin, though I am of the school of thought of " If it can't hurt, why not try it?" Benadryl does cause sedation, which does not make it anxiolytic.
- Alprazolam (Xanax): one of my favorite anxiolytic agents in the same family as valium. It will reduce anxiety if administered several hours before the stressful event, but can also cause paradoxical excitation, incoordination, or not work at all.
- Acepromazine: does not relieve anxiety, per se. -it causes the pet to feel too tired to act on it. This drug is not as safe or effective at reducing anxiety as Xanax and it depresses blood pressure.
Be sure to call the office well ahead of time. We will not be able to prescribe any drug to a pet who has not been evaluated in 12 months, is elderly, or has a medical disorder such as a heart condition.
Wishing you and your family a safe and enjoyable 4th of July!