Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Help your Dog through Fireworks and Frightful Forecasts

ARA - Summer has arrived and the Fourth of July is just around the corner. For families, that means more fun and festivities, but for pets it can become a stressful time due to increased sudden noise such as thunderstorms and fireworks.

“The summer can be a difficult time for pets with the noise of fireworks and neighborhood commotion. However, recognizing these changes in your dog’s environment, and planning ahead, can decrease the amount of discomfort your pet experiences,” says Debra Nickelson, D.V.M. “Using pheromone-based products such as Comfort Zone with D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone), is great for overly-agitated dogs, as it helps them remain calm in unfamiliar or stressful scenarios.”

“My dog Edy is fairly calm overall, but whenever there is thunder or loud noises he shakes uncontrollably, whimpers and hides in our bedroom,” says Eric Kardesh, pet parent of a 2-year-old vizsla. “To make him feel calm, I always make sure his favorite blanket is in his crate, and I give it a few sprays of Comfort Zone which helps him feel safe and less stressed.”

The days following the Fourth of July are often the busiest of the year for many animal shelters recovering lost dogs. To ensure your dog is safe, keep him at home and plan ahead with these simple solutions:

* Keep your dog indoors in a confined and secure area to help him feel safe and secure.
* Put a favorite toy or blanket with your dog for added reassurance.
* Calming products, such as Comfort Zone, can soothe dogs having trouble coping with stress.
* Keep the shades closed and turn on the TV or radio to drown out unfamiliar noise.

“Usually I’ll find someone to pet sit during the Fourth of July,” says Rachel Van Buskirk, pet parent of a 6-year-old pug. “But when I can’t find anyone for the day, it seems to help if I leave some music to distract my dog from outside noises.”

If you’re planning on taking your companion with you for fireworks or neighborhood festivities, it is important to make sure you are prepared. When out and about with your dog this summer season, keep in mind the following tips:

* Keep your dog on a leash or in an animal carrier at all times.
* Do not leave your dog in the car, they heat up quickly and can cause health problems.
* Double-check to make sure your dog is wearing current identification.
* Consider getting a microchip for your dog.
* Make sure to bring some treats and a water bowl to keep your dog hydrated.
* Know your dog’s temperament. If your dog is not good with crowds, leave him at home.

Pet parents looking for additional tips and advice can visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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