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Fido and Fireworks Don't Mix - What Can You Do?

Is you dog terrified of fireworks? What do you do about it? We asked the question on Facebook and here are some of the responses:

Lucinda Hicks-Beach Quinn said, “I let my Corgi go into the downstairs bathroom with the door almost shut. it’s an inside room and seems to be the most quiet.”

“It is a dreadful time for my little poodle,” said Katharine Sweeney Bolender. “She runs into the bathroom every time she hears either thunder or fireworks. I have heard that turning up the radio or television can be helpful to ‘drown out’ the offending noise.”

Unfortunately, said Elaine Parnell Winward, “The radio or TV didn't work for us.” 

Debbie Dyer Fritz  said, “We had a dog that was very timid and [the TV] worked with her. She got used to the noise from the TV so the extra booms didn't bother her as much.” She added, “It's too bad that the things that delight us so much can cause such panic in our pets.”

Local veterinarians had some other tips. Dr. Andrew Frishman of Somers’ Progressive Animal Hospital said, “Give your dog a confined area and a place to hide, like a comfortable crate. You can try massaging him. Also, speak calmly to him. It is especially important to make sure your dog has proper identification, just in case he runs away. If nothing seems to work, you can administer a calming sedative.”

Mark Heidinger of the Ridgefield Animal Hospital added, “Try playing with the dog so he associates the noise with having fun. Some owners saying that fitting a tight T-shirt around the dog’s chest makes him feel comforted. Some people sing silly songs. Some people yawn dramatically and their dogs begin to yawn and relax too.”

Heidinger also mentioned desensitization CDs. You play them at happy times. Eventually you play them at frightening times and hopefully the dog will respond with pleasant interest. The CDs can be ordered online.

If you want to get some last minute sedatives, the Progressive Animal Hospital in Somers is open on Saturday, July 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and The Ridgefield Animal Hospital is open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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