This is part of our weekend Editorial series. Normally, we let the dogs do all the talking on our weekday dog blog! Join Peanut Butter Brickle and Digby Pancake each weekday on 2TravelingDogs.com and over a million social media followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
It’s probably happened to our dogs more than once. We have probably felt helpless on how to help them…more than once. And yet, year after year, the same scenario happens again and again. Fireworks, fireworks, and more fireworks. And we vow that the next time, things will be different for our dog. We vow that we will find a way to help our dog, and yet, our efforts don’t help. I have been there. I get it. And I get sick about it!
So this year, I decided enough was enough. Simply trying to help my dog wasn’t enough. And being involved in animal rescue, I see the social media channels explode on July 4th, on New Years Eve and every holiday that starts and ends with a bang. There are so many posts of animals missing, animals injured and worse. So what can we all do to help not only our own dogs but other dogs as well? It’s not enough to have good intentions. In this case, it could be life or death.
Why ARE dogs afraid of fireworks? I wish that our dogs could talk to us, and yes, Brickle and Digby write their blog every day…but…yeah. Our dogs cannot tell us why. Studies do show however that the sudden, loud noises of fireworks activate dogs’ sympathetic nervous systems, the same mechanism that exists in people and is responsible for our “fight or flight” response to sudden, stressful, or threatening stimuli. It’s the same biological response that they would have in the wild if a predator started to chase them. Can you imagine, that on top of that, they have no idea what fireworks are? It must be torture.
So what can we do? Is there anything we can do? If you have tried different approaches, and none have worked, maybe you just haven’t found the right one. But let’s talk about it. Every solution will not be the perfect solution for everyone. But it is up to you to find your dog’s solution.
Before you try any of the products or ideas below, do the obvious.
- Keep your doors locked before the fireworks start!
- Don’t let your dog greet company if there is a way to get out that door.
- Keep your dog in a safe, secure area.
- Do NOT take your dog’s collar off under any circumstance!
- Make sure all tags and your dog’s microchip is up to date the week before.
- Don’t take any unnecessary chances. Leave your dog at home with a sitter if you are going out, and do not expose your dog to large crowds. Let’s be smart about this! If you know your dog is stressed about fireworks, go that extra step and do not just leave him at home. Have someone stay there too!
So in our travels, and dealing with Brickle’s anxieties and Digby’s phobias of loud noises, gun shots and just about everything else, we have tried it all. So here are our suggestions and our recommendations based only on OUR experience in order of most effective with our dogs.
CBD Hemp Oil.
Our first choice, and the only choice to help our dogs in our household is using organic, Pet Releaf CBD Hemp Oil. Yes, they have the Edibites treats for less severe anxiety and as a supplement. But our dogs need more than that. Because they are large dogs, we personally use the 1700 strength. You have to start this ahead of time. Pet Releaf recommends at least a half hour before festivities begin. That is the time that seems to work for Brickle. If I wait until a storm or the fireworks begin, it takes much longer for the Pet Releaf CBD Hemp Oil to work. So I have to watch the clock. If you order online, you can save 10% by using coupon code 2TD at www.petreleaf.com
I’ll never forget when these came on the pet market years ago. Many of us could not figure out why this would work! So why do these work for some dogs? These wraps are designed to provide gentle, constant pressure to your dog’s body, producing a calming effect. Imagine someone doing that for you! Don’t you feel like you need a hug sometimes? We tried this for our dogs, and they seemed to help a bit, but not as well as the CBD oil. However, every dog is different! This may be the solution for your best friend. For dogs with extreme reactions to fireworks, I would recommend using both together!
It is most effective when you first play the music well before the fireworks start, at a time the dog is relaxed. Your dog will begin to associate the music with being calm and content. Then play the music a couple of hours before the fireworks start and continue to play through bedtime. The music doesn’t need to be loud to work!
A Dog Tent Or Crate
Dogs are den animals. Some dogs love to go into their crates. Digby LOVES to get into small, safe places. Since we are in an RV, there is no room for a crate, but he chooses to go behind his favorite chair with a blanket on his head. I can only imagine that he would love a dog tent or crate as well!
However you choose to help your dog this year, feel great knowing that you care enough to help your dog during a very stressful time for most. Our dogs rely on us to protect them and keep them safe. Do not let your dog become a part of the statistics this year. You have time to plan ahead now. Do so!
And if you see other dogs or animals in need, provide a helping hand. Shelters and rescues are overwhelmed each year with lost animals. Some of these animals will not ever make it back out. Volunteer at your shelters or ask a local rescue how they need help.
-Rachael Johnson, Founder of 2 Traveling Dogs and Your Dog’s Diner
Although we receive compensation for promoting Pet Releaf, all opinions expressed are our own. We receive proceeds from the sales on our Amazon shop.