Whole Dog Journal's Blog July 5, 2018

Dealing with Dogs on the 4th of July

Posted at 12:42PM - Comments: (35)

Well, how did you and your dogs all get through the holiday?

One of my girlfriends called me on Monday, asking if she could come up with her dog and visit for a few days, to escape the barrage of fireworks in her Bay area town. She has a sort of high-strung German Wire-Haired Pointer (is that redundant?) and the seven-year-old dog was already a mess, shaking and panting, from the fireworks he had been hearing.

I said sure, because I would love to see her, but warned her that it might not be much better here in my rural northern state town. But I didn’t emphasize this too hard, because I thought a visit with her would be lovely. Also, in my office/house where she would be staying, there is an enormous old whole-house fan that is so loud, it would surely drown out the racket outside while cooling things off.

She arrived Tuesday, and we had fun hanging out. There were some intermittent fireworks cracking in town on Tuesday evening, and both Luke (her dog) and my senior dog Otto handled it about the same; if they heard the POP or BANG of some firework somewhere, they would turn their heads sharply, stop breathing for a moment, and then pant and shake for a minute or two. We were able to keep distracting them and, with the house fan and the TV volume on high, got through the night.

Neither Woody nor my tenant’s dog (whom I’m caring for during the week, since her owner will be away weekdays at his summer job at a summer camp) nor the last of the puppies (six) that I’ve been fostering, even seemed to notice. So the household count was eight calm dogs and two nervous ones. I thought we might make it through the Fourth unscathed.

nail aversion on dog toe

Woody's nail avulsion.

On Wednesday morning I left Otto and Woody at my house, and drove to my office/house where my friend was sleeping in with her dog (she likes staying there, rather than my house, as she sometimes has trouble sleeping, and when she stays in the house with no one else in it, she is more comfortable getting up and watching TV or something if she can’t sleep). I fed my tenant’s dog and the puppies, and let them run around the yard to play, before returning to my house to start preparing to have some family come over for lunch (my sister-in-law and niece, who live an hour away, and my sister-in-law’s mom, who is visiting from France.) When I got home, I started busying myself with neatening things up and finding extra chairs, etc. I noticed that Woody was snoozing on the big bed in the living room. I thought, “Wow, he’s really growing up! All that activity yesterday must have worn him out, and he’s napping!”


When my sister and her husband arrived, in advance of my other guests, Woody jumped up to greet them; he loves them! But when he was greeting them with excitement, it was then obvious that he was frisking about on three legs; he wouldn’t set one hind leg on the ground! My sister said, “Oh my goodness! What’s wrong with Woody?!” and I, idiotically, was like, “I have no idea!”

Fortunately, it wasn’t anything too serious… but I felt it necessitated at trip to the ER anyway (after lunch, after my guests left). Somehow (no clue how), in the hour I had been gone, Woody had ripped one of his toenails nearly all the way off (nail avulsion). The nail itself was cocked at a horrible upward angle, with the bloody, sensitive core of the nail exposed and obviously causing poor Woody tremendous pain every time he let that paw touch the ground.

I have had dogs do this before, but almost always when their nails were too long and it was always in a front paw. I don’t have any idea of how he did this in a rear paw, middle toe. He sure is special!

Once again, I’m fortunate to have good pet insurance – with a dog like Woody, I can’t imagine not having it – and a good 24-hour veterinary clinic about a half-hour away.  I left Otto home with my husband, and my friend and I got into the car with Woody and her GWP, and drove to the clinic. She generously was going to keep me company while we waited for treatment, and we hadn’t wanted to leave her dog home alone with the fireworks still being set off in town intermittently.

It was about 4 p.m. when we got there – and we were greeted by an unusual sight: an employee of the clinic, putting up a sign in the middle of the driveway entrance to the clinic. The sign read, “No parking except for veterinary clients.” It took me just a second to remember that the clinic’s back border is the city fairgrounds – where that town’s annual fireworks show is held. I started laughing. “Well, if we don’t get out of here by the time the fireworks start, at least they can sedate Luke for us!”

As with any veterinary ER on a holiday, the clinic was busy. We waited about two hours to see a vet, but fortunately she made short work of Woody’s nail. She administered a local anesthetic,  clipped away (or pulled off, I didn’t see) the hanging nail, thoroughly cleaned the whole area, and bandaged it all up. We were sent home with antibiotics and some pain relief (the ubiquitous carprofen) and on the way home by 7.

Back in my smaller town, it was sounding like the Civil War. As I hurried around, feeding and cleaning up after the foster pups, my friend’s dog started going into his full-blown panic state. My friend was prepared with a veterinarian-prescribed dose of alprazolam (Xanax), and she gave him his first dose then. (The blood levels of the drug take about two hours to peak, and start to wear off in about four hours, so he needed one more dose to get through the night.) Woody was resting on the couch, obviously having experienced some relief from the procedure at the vet, and oblivious to the fireworks sounds, still audible behind the sound of the house fan and the TV.

sleeping dogs

Woody and Luke, sacked out at last. Note bandaged foot.

By about 8 p.m., I was ready to go home and see how my own fireworks-phobic dog was making out, but as I prepared to leave, my friend’s dog kept pasting himself to my side.  It was odd, because he usually doesn’t particularly seek me out for affection; he’s sort of intimidated by me, usually. But my friend was starting to get anxious about his anxiety, and I think that was making him more anxious! “Alright, you two,” I said. “Let’s all go home and stay at my house tonight.”

The rest of the evening, fortunately, was uneventful. A little wine for my friend and me, a little more Xanax for Luke, rest on the couch for Woody, a little pacing and comfort for Otto, and we finally all got to sleep. Thank goodness for modern medicine, and for pet insurance.

How did you all make out?

Comments (35)

In 2012 we adopted a 1 year old aussie who is sound sensitive. We have a fenced in 1.1 acre yard. When he hears gunshot, fireworks or thunder, Bentley races around the perimeter of our yard, barking at the sounds, trying to make them stop! After about 5 minutes of this, we make him come indoors, as we fear he may have a heart attack, esp. since these sounds mostly occur on HOT days. We purchased a Thunder shirt which helps only slightly, but makes Bentley SUPER hot, so we hesitate using it. Instead, we put a Mendota martingale 6' leash around his neck, take Bentley upstairs and either lie on the bed with him or turn on the tv. The simple act of his being attached to our calm energy seems to work far better than the Thundershirt or any "calming"' treats purchased. The leash works wonders for our boy! He is now 7 years old. Bentley is the FIRST sound sensitive dog we have ever had.

Posted by: Pakayakers | July 9, 2018 2:18 PM    Report this comment

One of my dogs used to shake and hide when firecrackers went off in the neighborhood. 2 or 3 years ago, I gave him a big frozen marrow bone around dusk. He sucked on that thing all through the fireworks and beyond. The next night, we had more poppers (why oh why don't people use them up on the 4th?!) He slept through it while I stressed out over all the noise at 11 pm on a worknight! Now he often barks an alert when they go off, but no more shaking and hiding. I still get them bones for the 4th and for New Years Eve anyway. He's still thunderphobic.

Posted by: WendyK | July 9, 2018 1:15 PM    Report this comment

Really enjoyed reading this article I must say! I had a few troubles last week also with my dog. He really does hate fireworks and we just have a cuddle on the sofa to calm him down.

Posted by: Dogcamper189 | July 9, 2018 10:32 AM    Report this comment

My one dog is extremely fearful of the noise made by fireworks and thunderstorms. I bought some supplements, but they didn't seem to be effective in easing her stress. I kept the windows closed, and had the A/C and TV blasting on the 4th, but she still climbed over, under and around things to find a hiding place. I believe she was making my other dog anxious by her actions. Today a thunderstorm came through and she managed to climb into a lower kitchen cabinet. She seems secure and actually napped for awhile. That door will be left ajar for future use.....

Posted by: winthrop | July 6, 2018 12:27 PM    Report this comment

I wasn’t sure how my 10-month-old whoodle (wheaten terrier/poodle) would react to the Indiana fireworks, so we took him to our beach house, where THE LOCALS follow the “no private fireworks” rule. (The weekenders, not so much) We decided to try taking him and watching from the car. We waited and waited (and waited and waited) for the spectacle to start. Finally, 30 minutes after the scheduled start time, the police came through with foghorns declaring that the show was cancelled due to nearby lightning. He isn’t at all afraid of thunder, loud boats, etc., but he hates the vacuum. It has taken up residence in a corner of my family room daily for 7.5 months. I have placed treats on it. I have turned it on for brief periods. I have “run” it with the sound off. None of those efforts has made him more comfortable with it. So I crate him while I vacuum, and he yelps, beys, barks, whines, howls, yowls, etc. until I turn it off. My last dog, a wheaten terrier, wasn’t fond of the vacuum either, but he just without fanfare, left the room I was vacuuming. He wasn’t afraid of thunder, boats, lawn mowers, etc., either. We’ll try the fireworks display again next year and report back. Poor Woody. I hope his paw feels better soon.

Posted by: Lulukay | July 6, 2018 11:21 AM    Report this comment

I go through the loud, nasty noise stuff year-round. Where I live it's legal to shoot guns during daylight hours. The target practice starts months before hunting season. The noise from one gun makes it sound like a cannon - that one is 3 doors down. Two doors up is another idiot doing target practice with a more normal sounding gun. My dogs are fine as long as they're in the house with mommy. If they're outside when the shooting starts, that's another story. The fireworks started around here last Friday. I gave Spudley a calming tablet about an hour before dusk each day. He was a bit anxious but basically calm compared to what he's been like in the past. I was rudely wakened at 1 this morning by Spudley. A nearby thunderstorm was going on. I was more asleep than awake. The storm didn't seem like much, so I just crated him and went back to sleep. an hour and a half later, Spudley's screams woke me up. The thunderstorm was right overhead. Spudley and the crate got moved to the bathroom. It is just 6 a.m., Spudley is still in the bathroom. There may be more storms today so I guess Spudley will be spending a lot of time in the bathroom today. And I might use up the rest of the calming tablets. The other 2 dogs? Their sleep was getting disturbed, what is all the fuss about?

Posted by: Cindie M | July 6, 2018 5:05 AM    Report this comment

I feel fortunate to live in the country where the dogs can't even tell it's not any other day. I have one friend who goes on a camping trip to a national park where fireworks aren't allowed. A friend did bring her dog over last night so he could have a peaceful evening since he is really bothered by fireworks.

Posted by: Cindy C. | July 5, 2018 9:11 PM    Report this comment

My husky cannot be ruffled by any noise. He sleeps through even the loudest bombs. My Aussie has decided (after 2 years of not being bothered) that she is not happy with the noise. It's like she's on constant high alert and eventually the trembling kicks in. After walking over the top of my sleeping husky one too many times he decided enough was enough and pinned her to the wall with his foot (while still flat out on the bed) and grumbled at her. I'm not sure he was even really awake... I disentangled them and popped a leash on my Aussie and kept her close to me. It acted like an anchor for her I guess because she stayed alert but fell asleep after about 20 minutes. More like she passed out from exhaustion. She would occasionally look up and around at a bigger sound that you could really hear over the fans but then her head plopped back onto my leg and she was asleep again. I was afraid her clear anxiety would cause my husky to become anxious but clearly his nerves of steel are untouchable. One blessing!

Posted by: Chaosbean | July 5, 2018 8:01 PM    Report this comment

I knew it was going to be a bad day. So I went to my local pet food store (Petsmart) and found LICKS a liquid pet calmer.

It works! Our Dog Tallulah is terriffied of Thunder, Fireworks and artillery fire (we live not too far from WEST POINT Military Academy. Well we gave it to her & she was much better, not perfectly fine but much better. She actually went to sleep during her ordeal.

Posted by: GJR | July 5, 2018 7:33 PM    Report this comment

My 9 year old Lab showed no sign of being alarmed by the fireworks. BUT our 8 year old German Shepherd, who normally is pretty blase about them, set up a fit of barking (no trembling or shaking) with every blast. Finally, he hopped up on his dad's lap (yes, he's a 98 lb lap dog on occasion) and with lots of love and comfort, settled down. Later in the evening after another round started (across the street this time) he looked up, I told him it was okay, and he didn't say another word, I mean bark.

Posted by: AlaskaLabLover | July 5, 2018 7:17 PM    Report this comment

We have our senior Red Bone Coonhoud (12 1/2 years old) and a new 1 year old. So glad I stayed home instead of going with everyone to the fireworks. I did need to work with the new dog just a little and then life was good for all! I consider myself very fortunate!

Posted by: Sherlock's Mom | July 5, 2018 7:00 PM    Report this comment

I have 2 GSPs that are a mess during fireworks and thunderstorms. I also tried the CBD oil this year and it definitely made a big difference with the 2 dogs without totally drugging them up. I used both the treat form and the capsules. I would highly recommend it...

Posted by: Laurie M | July 5, 2018 6:51 PM    Report this comment

Callie, 4 1/2 yr Goldendoodle, needed to potty last evening. Our neighborhood was quiet but going outside at this time couldn't have been a worse timing. As soon as we stepped in the yard, fireworks exploded next door, to all the sounds and sights of a war. Callie started running in a panic trying to get away from the noise and sight. She was terrified. Had we not had a fenced yard, I believe she would still be running.
We brought her back into the house, turned the TV up in all the rooms that had one, but she had her ears pinned back the whole time listening. She was so restless and pacing back and forth. It took 3 Benadryl and a large cotton ball placed in both ears, then hopping on the bed with us to calm her down. I just hope all the fireworks were used up last night or the neighbors may use them again tonight.

Posted by: LovemyGD | July 5, 2018 6:42 PM    Report this comment

We rescued our Chow mix in 2012. She was the most laid back dog on the planet and fireworks or other loud noises never bothered her. Remember coming back from a walk one evening when neighbors were lighting firecrackers as we walked past and she paid no attention. I could vacuum a few inches from her nose and she never cared. That changed a few years later; she began to pant and shake at fireworks. My husband swears it was after two of our grand dogs, who were very nervous, stayed with us one year while our kids were out of town. Never had to medicate her, she just liked being in a dark room, with a radio or TV at higher volume, and she would usually fall asleep. No worries about her this year, lost her to lymphoma in early May at age nine.

Posted by: Rainy's Mom | July 5, 2018 6:33 PM    Report this comment

Coco, my not-quite-one-year-old goldendoodle hearing alert service dog-in-training, went into alert mode starting around 5:00 p.m. I figured there must be fireworks going off in our cup-de-sac, and Coco, having never experienced such a phenomenon, was very alarmed. She kept running to me and running to all the doors in high alert. There is another cut-de-sac right behind ours, so the noise was coming from both directions. I couldn't get her to quiet down, and there was nothing of distraction value on TV until I remembered I had a Netflix DVD "The Greatest Showman," which I knew was a musical and figured it was about the circus (well, sort of). That helped keep Coco next to me while I petted her, but the poor pup was shaking with fear the whole time. Not only were the fireworks outside noisy, but the air was very smokey.

I then switched to the Capitol Fourth on PBS, and loudly sang the patiotic songs along with the entertainers. My dogs have always liked my singing- though most humans don't - and we all watched the fireworks on TV. When that ended, I peeked out the back door to see if anything was happening at the stadium three miles away, and it was - clearly and loudly! I decided to just stand in my doorway and watch rather than go outside. Soon Coco came up behind me, poked her nose between my legs and watched and listened, now more curious than scared. Hurray! Muffin, senior about-to-retire hearing alert labradoodle, is blasé about the whole thing, having seen and heard ten July 4th shows from our back deck.Now both are sleeping soundly.

Posted by: drlucy | July 5, 2018 5:45 PM    Report this comment

Years ago, the otherwise faultless Sparky would tear up everything on my bed when there were fireworks. Of the many dogs I've fostered or forever-homed, he was the only truly fearful one but I've often crated them out of caution when fireworks are anticipated. Unfortunately, sometimes they happen at odd times.
My current little pal, The Little Guy, came from the town shelter in our new country home and last night he seemed more intent on protecting us from the fireworks by barking and running toward the noise. Fortunately, the fence contained him. Everybody's different.
Poor Woody. When that happened to one of my dogs the vet told me nail avulsions (thanks for the technical name, Nancy) usually heal on their own. It did. Thoughts anyone?

Posted by: Jessie | July 5, 2018 5:14 PM    Report this comment

Our big boy, a 97# Newf/GSP mix, is deathly afraid of loud noises - fireworks, thunder, gunshots, popping bubblewrap - if it's loud, he's frightened by it. Our small town is usually awash in fireworks for several days around July 4th, and he spends most of that time hiding in his bed in my husband's closet. During that time, he'll go out for a quick potty around 8 or 9 am, then doesn't set a paw outside for the rest of the day or evening. Around 4 am, he usually asks to go out again and spends a half hour or so doing his business, checking the perimeter, and just enjoying the cool, evening air.

This year, we did get a reprieve. In the middle of the day on the 4th, a grass fire was started by fireworks in our county seat and the County Commissioners and the Mayors of our few small towns agreed on an emergency ban on all fireworks in the county. It's sad that it took a fire to effect this resolution. It was very expensive for the town and county to fight the fire and dangerous for the folks involved in containing and extinguishing it. On the bright side, no one was injured, no property was lost, and the entire county spent a wonderfully quiet Fourth of July.

Posted by: BigDogMom | July 5, 2018 5:00 PM    Report this comment

We've had Lars for a little over two years now, and he was his normal "sleep through it all" self. There were some pretty loud bangs in our neighbourhood, too.

Posted by: DreamWeaver | July 5, 2018 4:50 PM    Report this comment

Ordinarily my now 4 and a half year old German Shepherd born in Germany and since she has been 7 months old we have been together 24/7 almost every moment of the ensuing 4 years, where we live in Southern Humboldt on 45 acres removed from the Y chromosome deranged that now populate the East Bay and want to start a civil war with real bombs and bombardments. Ordinarily my dog shrugs off loud noises and is not disturbed by anything except vets and macho little black cats. But this time it got to her. (Me too.) What's wrong with this picture? What is happening? I used to live in the Bay Area having left in 1996 and it was never this loud, sustained, on the street and in the air. Last night we were in a neighborhood where nothing sells for less than a million and people frequently leave their doors unlocked. My dog got off the bed, came next to me shivering. I calmed her down by holding her gently and firmly and breathing with her to pace it in her relaxed deeper breaths. She did relax after a few minutes and slowly curled up at my feet without trembling. A friend of mine now calls it interdependence day. I wish that it were so.

Posted by: herbivore | July 5, 2018 4:45 PM    Report this comment

I have an 8-month-old Irish Setter. The fact that it's illegal means nothing to my community, so, we've been having loud booms for several days, but they didn't bother him in the slightest. We were doing fine last night too. It was shortly after dusk and the real thing was just starting, a few colorful explosions just above the rooftops, not a big deal. Even so, since eight months is a "fear" period for puppies, I was keeping him inside, but when he had to go potty, I figured ten seconds wouldn't hurt, especially since he'd been fine all week. Just as we got out there, one of those huge, popping, crackling things filled the entire sky above my backyard. My poor dog barked frantically, raced across the lawn, threw himself through the dog door and skidded to the far side of the room. He was a nervous wreck for the rest of the night. He sleeps next to my bed, so I covered his crate, shut the blinds and turned on an old, loud box air conditioner that I keep forgetting to remove. And we made it through the night, but now I'm worried that he's developed a permanent fear of the nasty things and we'll be dealing with all the solutions mentioned by the other commenters, all the way up to Xanax. I guess we'll find out on New Year's Eve. I am SOOO mad. What is it about these noisy, dangerous fire hazards that grown adults think is so cool? They get worse every year...my neighborhood sounds like a war zone. Does anyone notice that the fire and ambulance sirens start right when the fireworks do? I even read that some people put signs on their houses that a military veteran with PTSD is inside. Did I mention that I hate fireworks?

Posted by: GiftofGalway | July 5, 2018 4:35 PM    Report this comment

Last year Ike , Great Pyrenees, age 2 now, did very well with the fireworks. Startled at first and then calmly watching. This year, our "secret" viewing spot was discovered by hoards of people. Ike was not bothered by the fireworks, but when a group of people came up to stand behind our chair, he went into night guard mode.. Not barking but hyper vigilant and sat behind our chairs to keep an eye on them.

Posted by: a601mom | July 5, 2018 4:22 PM    Report this comment

Last year Ike , Great Pyrenees, age 2 now, did very well with the fireworks. Startled at first and then calmly watching. This year, our "secret" viewing spot was discovered by hoards of people. Ike was not bothered by the fireworks, but when a group of people came up to stand behind our chair, he went into night guard mode.. Not barking but hyper vigilant and sat behind our chairs to keep an eye on them.

Posted by: a601mom | July 5, 2018 4:22 PM    Report this comment

I used to have a dog (bred for showing) that was (along with every other possible distraction) noise bomb proof! We once (accidentally) drove through a SF Chinese Merchant Store opening, featuring a 20 minute firecracker salute, and the most that dog did, was bark. Moving up north, he again barked (as an enthusiastic challenge) to July 4th lights and noises. My younger dog, sharing those early years with him, copied his behavior as they double-teamed up to challenged the lights and noises! Even without the older dog, who passed away in 2016, he did well last year.

But this year, for the first time, I noticed his waning confidence. He was fine inside with me, watching TV, but hesitant about taking a (long overdue) potty break outside, even in my company, inside a large fenced in patio area. No doubt he could hear noises far off more clearly than myself. But I decided rather than coddling him about his insecurity, I would make a game out of things (as the older dog used to challenge). And so I ran back and forth, the length of the patio, clapping and cheering, and "playing" with him about something fun going on, which he dearly loves! In response, he cocked his tail, and again barked in challenge, and acknowledged the fun had begun. Of course I would never leave him alone outside, and once his potty break was completed, brought him back in for the night, and he was fine.

Posted by: Pacificsun | July 5, 2018 4:21 PM    Report this comment

Up here in Brownsville it was very quiet We actually took our new young pup down to the fire station to experience the fireworks. We knew they would be low key and fairly quiet and we could keep her under threshold. She will be my son's hunting dog and will need to tolerate gunshot. She did awesomely and we left early to return to the other dogs at home. All in all a peaceful night.

Posted by: Neely | July 5, 2018 3:53 PM    Report this comment

Up here in Brownsville it was very quiet We actually took our new young pup down to the fire station to experience the fireworks. We knew they would be low key and fairly quiet and we could keep her under threshold. She will be my son's hunting dog and will need to tolerate gunshot. She did awesomely and we left early to return to the other dogs at home. All in all a peaceful night.

Posted by: Neely | July 5, 2018 3:53 PM    Report this comment

We had a very good fourth. My three year old sound sensitive poodle mix showed that the previous two years of counter conditioning has paid off. He noticed the fireworks, and so I went to get the treats. By the time I got back to him, he was all "I don't care about the treats, play with my snake!" After playing a while, he did his own thing. Best of all when we went out to go to the bathroom and discovered how much louder the sounds were out there, he looked at me and with encouragement went right out. He came back quickly, but was not at all upset. The noises went on most of the night, and he slept fine. Now, if I could only figure out how to do that with construction/roofing noise.

Posted by: Alice R. | July 5, 2018 3:51 PM    Report this comment

Sileo has made the sound of fireworks and thunder tolerable for my 13yo Aussie/Pyr mix girl Shasta. Dosed as soon as I hear the first 'bang,' it takes effect in about 30 minutes. She is still aware of exceptionally loud bangs but goes about her activities normally.
Prior to Sileo, I tried many non-medication techniques, products, and apparel and even Acepromazine.
Jack Sivak

Posted by: JackSivak | July 5, 2018 3:43 PM    Report this comment

I had one dog once who would hide behind the toilet for a storm. Never whined, just got up and went behind the toilet.

Posted by: liz1 | July 5, 2018 3:40 PM    Report this comment

Oh, I'm so sorry about woody. That must have been very painful. Since I foster dogs, During the 4th yesterday I had 7 dogs in the house. I was debating to go see the fireworks or stay home with the dogs. I decided to stay home...Thank goodness I did. My older brother had left the door open and if it weren't for me I would have had 7 lost foster dogs. That was my fourth of July experience. Also your blog is amazing!!!! I'm starting a tiny one on google plus..... My user is TheDogBlog101
Thanks, Gen

Posted by: GenDog | July 5, 2018 3:37 PM    Report this comment

my two dogs made out terribly. They huffed and puffed and paced.
My Jack who was never afraid is now afraid I think he found his sister so afraid.
They BOTH sat on my lap at one time huffing away and heating me up several degrees. I used Rescue Remedy on both and it didn't phase them at all. It helped my former dog a lot. Doors were closed; windows closed, fans and ACs on full blast and TV. I barely heard them. They heard them just fine popping away.

Posted by: Daizie59 | July 5, 2018 3:37 PM    Report this comment

My grand dog doesn't do well with fireworks or thunderstorms. He lives in Florida. We found CBD oil this April and it's worked wonders with him! Totally off the Xanax now.... you should look into it and talk to your vet.

Posted by: Blond3sho3Diva | July 5, 2018 3:23 PM    Report this comment

Sophie, rescued Aussie age 9, has a lot of noise anxiety. I normally put her in her Thundershirt, turn on a loud fan, don’t make too much of her anxiety, and within just a few minutes, she is sound asleep. Since we moved into town where people ignore the “no fireworks within city limits” law and the city display occurs just 1 mile from our house, we upped her arsenal last night to include 1) calming treats with L-Theanine, 2) lavender plus other dog-okay essential oils, and 3) one dose of melatonin (3 mg with no xylitol). I normally would have chosen Xanax (alprazolam) because I am a people nurse and used to using medications, but wanted to try a more holistic approach. Sophie slept right through most the war going on outside. She woke up a few times, looked around and panted a little, but with a little reassurance went right back to sleep. Might have seemed like overkill, but it was so nice not to have her suffer. (BTW, 9 month old rescued Old English Sheepdog, Hamish, had no idea what the fuss was all about and was just happy he scored a few more treats!)

Posted by: SophHam | July 5, 2018 3:22 PM    Report this comment

Yes, July 4th has been our least favorite holiday for 6 years now. Lola, our Wheaten Terrier, is very reactive to the noise. Runs for the door barking and wanting to go outside to tell the scary things how she feels. We have an interior bathroom with a speaker from our home stereo in the ceiling. A few years back I ordered a white noise disc and made 4 copies. That gets us about 6 hours of constant noise. I have to admit when it's on and I'm in the bathroom I hear nothing of the fireworks and neither does Lola based on the lack of barking. If only I could figure out a good way to get her outside for her bodily functions.

Posted by: LolasDad | July 5, 2018 3:21 PM    Report this comment

4 chi’s totally oblivious to the noise...
1 chi happily looking at the sky expectantly every time she hears a bang...
1 pit bull cowering w/ his blanket in the walk in closet in our master suite... 🙄😂

Posted by: ChiMama | July 5, 2018 3:19 PM    Report this comment

I live in an apartment complex in a suburban area with my 115 lb Shepherd. He handles the fireworks fairly well when inside. He just stays very near to me. However, to get him outside for potty breaks while fireworks are happening is like wrangling a terrified bucking bronco. It's very nerve-wracking for me, as I'm in fear he'll break away from me, or the equipment will break. I keep a two-handed death grip on his leash and keep the leash very short. I don't drug him, but maybe I should look into it.

The fireworks dribble along from morning until dusk on the 4th, and become monumental from dusk to midnight or 1 am-ish. I always set an alarm for 3 am so I can take him out in peace (if someone, somewhere doesn't set off a big boomer during those few minutes we're out, which often does happen.)

So, during the day, it's a huge challenge to try to get him to pee or poop during our brief attempts to be out there. Every year (this happens on New Year's, as well) he barely goes during that period from the early morning of the day, until that 3 am outing after all the chaos, so about 20 hours. I feel so bad for him, and it keeps me on edge all those hours, knowing he's suffering with a full bladder and bowels for many, many hours. The 4th and New Year's have become hated holidays for me.

Posted by: Natalie H. | July 5, 2018 3:10 PM    Report this comment

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