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Helping your Dog Navigate Summer Fireworks and Thunderstorms

Calm Canines: Effective Techniques for Soothing Dogs During Summer Fireworks and Thunderstorms

During summertime, dogs can become especially fearful due to the increase in outdoor celebrations such as graduation parties and picnics. These often involve fireworks, thunderstorms, or other loud noises. Additionally, the weather patterns during this season can lead to an increase in thunder and lightning storms, further adding to their distress. These loud noises can be overwhelming for dogs, causing them to hide, shake, or even run away. In fact, the day after the fourth of July is the most common day for pets to go missing as they often get scared and run off.

As pet parents, we always want to help our dogs as best we can to navigate these scary times. There are several ways that we can help our dogs navigate summer fireworks and thunderstorms. Techniques include management, being proactive and prepared to overlapping management and training. How you help your dog will depend on your dog’s journey and your lifestyle. So here are some tips. Some of these techniques may be used together. I do use multiple methods with my dogs  depending on the severity of the situation.

Safe Place

I strongly believe that every dog should have a safe place to go. Whether they have anxiety issues or not, giving your dog a safe place to go either for a break, relaxation or when they are scared is important for their well-being. The safe place should be their own and where they go to be alone. It’s not a place where the kids go to join them or anyone else goes. Sometimes you may need to be creative but it is what your dog will know as theirs and where they can be calm, relaxed, and safe.

Brief Training Sessions

I completely understand the struggle of not having enough time for full training sessions. In my experience with my dogs, I’ve found that even dedicating just 3 to 4 minutes to focus exercises can make a real difference. From helping them feel more confident, focused and less fearful. It may not always work or be achievable, but depending on your dog’s current level of stimulation and fear, I believe it’s worth a try.

Mental Stimulation and Enrichment Toys

During this time of year, I keep Kongs stuffed with pumpkin and treats ready to go in my freezer.  That way I can immediately pull one out for my dog Mojo when needed. I also keep lick mats in my freezer ready for my dog Jackson. In being prepared like this, the moment I hear that first boom I can go to the freezer, grab the kong or lick mat. Direct the dogs to their safe places (Mojo to her crate and Jackson to his dog bed), and give them their toys. This will keep them focused on something good for 20 minutes rather than the loud noises. Sometimes as pet parents, it is up to us to be prepared and proactive for situations. While we may not be able to anticipate every situation, I do know that they have safe spaces, I know what will help them, and that having this in the freezer ready to go works for them.

CBD Oil

In one of my recent blog posts, I shared my experience of using CBD oil for my dogs. After administering CBD oil to my dogs daily, I have confidently observed significant improvements in both their overall health and Mojo’s anxiety. This approach has undeniably made a positive impact on addressing various health issues, and I am truly pleased with the results. If you feel that this may be an avenue you want to explore, the brand of CBD oil I use is Furry Faces. Here is their link and the discount code is AllisonAA.

Animal Reiki

In my experience as an animal Reiki practitioner, I have had the opportunity to observe the positive effects of Reiki on both my canine clients and my own dogs. Particularly those dealing with anxiety. I can confidently affirm that sharing animal Reiki with your dogs can be incredibly beneficial in aiding their well-being. This practice serves as an excellent proactive tool for daily care and support.

Medication

At times, dogs may experience serious health issues that require medication. It’s important to consult with a vet in such situations. While I advocate for exploring holistic approaches, it’s crucial to recognize that each dog’s health journey is unique, and some may require more extensive medical assistance. There are a variety of options available that your vet will be able to go over with you if this is a route you take for your dog.

Final Thoughts

Every dog is on their own journey and not every calming technique will work for every dog. Or maybe you may need to be like me and combine different things for your dog. All of this is ok. What is important to me is that you have the resources and options that are available to you for your dog’s well-being. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Wags, 

Allison

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