Friday, June 26, 2009

Avoid Fireworks Frenzy

While the fireworks on July 4th are a welcome part of the holiday for many, for some dogs they can be a nightmare. A dog's hearing is 10 times more acute than a human's, imagine how confusing it must be for your guide friend. Take some precautions to protect your dog during this night of mystifying racket.

Here are some activities you can do in the hours leading up to fireworks time. Take your dog out to busy right before dark to avoid going out during the noise. Walk your dog on a longer than normal route. He will be tired and less likely to have extra energy to exert if stressed. Give your dog a doggie massage about an hour before dark and he will be in a calmer mood. Add some cooked plain potato or plain white rice to his meal this evening. The extra carbohydrates will make your dog sleepier and less likely to be anxious.

Once the fireworks start, leave your dog indoors in a place where he feels safe and secure. Turning up your radio or TV to drown out the booms and blasts can help. The flashing lights can scare your dog, too. Close curtains and blinds while turning on inside lights. This will make the flashes less noticeable. Distract your dog with low-key games, give him a favorite toy or introduce a new one. Hopefully one of these will hold his interest and he won't notice the outside noises.

If the night has been difficult for you and your guide you may want to try some sound therapy. You can purchase Cd's which feature sounds that commonly upset dogs, including fireworks. By playing the sounds a little every day and increasing the volume slightly each time you can desensitize your dog to the noise. The key is to go slowly. Keep your dog fixated on something else like a toy or favorite treat while it plays. A sound CD can be purchased at . . It is called "Sounds Good CD - Fireworks" - $16.95. Included is a track with instructions. The CD can also be ordered by calling them at 800-776-2665.

Follow these guidelines and you and your dog can pass the 4th of July evening peacefully.

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