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Solutions for Scaredy Dogs

More pets go missing on Independence Day than any other day of the year. The sound, smell and sight of fireworks attack dog's senses. If your pup is like many dogs and is frightened by fireworks, there are a few things you can do to help them out.

Bring them in: If your dog is an outside dog, July 4 may be a good day to make them an inside dog - even if just temporarily. But don't leave them in a hot garage.

Tire them out: Take your dogs for a long walk during the day so that when the fireworks begin, they are already snoozing.

Give them a safe place: Make sure your dog's crate, pillow or sleeping area is accessible. Dogs left in the yard may create their own safe place if they are really scared, and it could involve jumping a fence or digging holes. Other nervous habits may include sucking or chewing on their paws or bedding.

Make some noise: Household noises may help drown out fireworks. Run the dishwasher. Time your laundry so it's going when the fireworks are. Play some music, watch a movie. Close the windows to dampen the noise.

If you are going to be out, find a heartbeat noise and loop it - it sounds weird, but works. Click on the attached video and turn it up. Make sure you are playing it in a room that your dogs will be comfortable in.

Give them a treat: When your pups are calm and happy, reward the behavior. Give them treats. If they are pouting, shaking or cowering in the corner, teach them to be brave. Don't baby them. Stand tall and talk confidently. When your pets see you as acting normally, they will know that they are ok - you are the alpha and your dog takes cues from you.

It's a good idea to give your dog a chewing alternative; a Nylabone, toy, teething ring or rawhide may help them express their anxiousness without destroying your home or yard.

Stick around: Once your dog is settled into their corner, you can toss them treats, talk to them in an upbeat manner and play some music.

Visit the pet store: Many pet stores carry all natural pet soothers. One, HomeoPet Anxiety is a fast acting liquid with no known side effects; safe for kittens, puppies, pregnant and nursing animals. It's free of all chemicals and is manufactured under an FDA registered process.

Another product that may help out your pup is the thunder shirt. It's a jacket that applies gentle pressure to your pet. It is a medicine-free solution to calming animals.

Calm them down: Some websites suggest an essential oil diffuser filed with lavender. Much like humans, every hound is different and you never know what will work for your pet until you try it.

Talk to your vet: If your dog is still freaking out each year, consult your veterinarian. They may prescribe a mild sedative that will help with their anxiety.

Prepare for next year: Playing movies or music with fireworks or gunshots in them frequently may desensitize your pet to the noise. You need to start at least a month before the holiday.

Tag them: Make sure that your dogs collars are properly fitting (can fit 2 fingers between the neck and the collar) and that the tags are up to date and include a phone number. If your dog happens to run away, this will make it much easier for a good samaritan to contact you.

These solutions will work for both fireworks and thunder - or any noises that may frighten them ... okay, maybe not for the vacuum. Many of them also work on cats. We wish you and your pet a wonderful holiday. Take care!

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