Keep your dog calm during the holiday weekend - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Keep your dog calm during the holiday weekend

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More than 15 million dogs in the U.S. suffer stress and anxiety from noise phobias invoked by the sounds of summer.

With the Fourth of July quickly approaching and thunderstorms becoming a regular occurrence, here is some information that teaches dog owners how to calm anxious pets during fireworks displays and thunderstorms.

  • Close windows and doors so that dogs does not see the flashes of lightning or fireworks and try using earmuffs or canine-safe ear plugs.
  • Pay attention to them; don't ignore a dog that is scared of fireworks and provide a safe, cozy place for a dog to be in during the fireworks. Some dogs like hiding in closets, under beds or in bath tubs.
  • Try a Thundershirt. They are meant to help dog anxieties caused by thunderstorms, travel, separation and more.
  • Go for a long walk before celebrating. Take dog out for longer than normal to make them completely exhausted. This way the brain will be too tired to concentrate on the fireworks.
  • Distract your dog. Once the fireworks start ask him or her to do obedience behavior, put dog on treadmill, or strap on his or her backpack. Help your dog focus on something other than the fireworks..
  • Give your dog a treat reserved especially for when fireworks are bound to occur. Maybe a meaty bone or a special chew toy or stuff peanut butter or cheese into a marrow bone. Anything that will last long enough to divert dog's attention from the noise.
  • Studies have found that classical music performed on the piano produced a calming effect on 70% of dogs in shelters and 85% of dogs in homes. Putting on a classical CD may just be the thing that works and probably easiest to try before the others.

For more information visit petsuppliesplus.com

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