How to keep your pooch safe and sane through the thunder of summer
By the Get Leashed Health Team
With summer in full swing and national holidays every other weekend you can almost hear the wicked thunderstorms and late night, eye-popping fireworks. Scratch that, we mean fear-instilling, anxiety-inducing, dog-whimpering thunderstorms and fireworks. Breed as little to do with whether or not your dog will go cowering at the first sense of a storm, or pop of a firecracker. Fear not, whether your pooch be big and burly, or tender and tiny, we’ve got 5 tips for weathering the storm (or long weekend party).
A little understanding
The first thing you need understand is that a dog has far more sensitive hearing than you do. What is loud for you is even louder for them. Not too mention the fact you have a situational awareness about what is happening and what to expect that they do not.
Soothe but don’t coddle
To have your dog settle on command is the best situation you can hope for. If you can attain this then reward them, but only when they’ve settled. Don’t coddle them or give them treats when they are anxious, this will seem like a reward for their anxiety.
Try and divert their attention. Play with them or take the time to hone a few of their tricks—turn that paw shake into a double high five. Yeah! Whatever you can do to help keep them occupied will go a long way.
If all else fails the least you can do is try to create a happy, welcoming space for them. Don’t confine them to a corner or another room. Keep them with you where they can roam.
Just to reiterate, do not confine your pup. This will feel like a punishment. While you don’t want to encourage the behavior you also don’t want to them to be afraid of any area in the house, or even you for that matter.
One way to soothe doggy anxiety during a storm or fireworks is with a thunder-vest. Try the Thundershirt from Thunderworks for a variety of colours, sizes and the opportunity to embroider your pet’s name.
Thunderworks, Thundershirt in Heather Grey, $39.95