Ugh, it's that time of year again. We live on a reservation where everything is legal and 4th of July lasts for a month. I have a fraidy dog and I used to like fireworks but it's just not worth what they put animals through. The Humane Society says that the 4th is the busiest time of year for them, as more dogs get loose then than any other time of year. Please don't underestimate what your dog can do via adrenaline to get away from you. Thunderstorms are tough on pets as well, although some of us live in milder climates where thunder doesn't boom quite as bad as some areas. Here's some tips on making it through. 1. Peace Flower Essence for Pets. 4 drops in the water bowl with as much advance notice as you can get, to have it in their system before things get really wild. It has flowers for the hypersensitivity of electrical storms and booming in the air as well as some plain ol anti-anxiety essences. Dogs really like flower essences in their water, you can also give them drops straight from the bottle in the crisis situation. My dog Zoe will lick them off a spoon. Cats are more finicky. You'll definitely need to add it to their water bowl. Buy it here. 2. Melatonin. Melatonin is a great natural anxiety reliever for dogs. It doesn't have a sedative action as it does for people, but works beautifully. I use both the flower essences and melatonin together for Zoe.
0-30 lb dog – 1.5 mg
31-99 lb dog – 3 mg
100+ lbs – 6 mg
Give it every 8 hours as needed. Do not exceed these amounts. Consult with a vet before giving melatonin to your dog so that he or she can recommend to you the correct dosage for your pet depending on their circumstances/medical history, and advise whether or not this is the best solution for your dog.
3. Exercise Early Burn off their excess energy early in the day or pre-Tstorm so they have less of it to direct towards nervousness.
4. Inside in a bomb shelter. Not literally a bomb shelter, but a small safe feeling bunker of some sort. Crates, small interior bathrooms, under bed, blanket fort etc all work. "Where's Zoe?" "She's in her bomb shelter." 5. Calming Clothes Ever seen one of those wraps that provide a mild compression that is supposed to soothe your pet? It provides some constant mild pressure around them like a hug. Here is one on Amazon so you can look at the reviews. One of my customers says it helps her dog during storms. American Kennel Club Calm Anti-Anxiety and Stress Relief Coat for Dogs, Medium We did the conventional medication route once. Zoe got some Acepromazine and it was not a great experience. It didn't alleviate any fear, just made her easier to catch. In fact, being terrified and immobilized is how my nightmares go down, so I can't imagine doing that to her again. It's definitely time to get your game plan in order whatever route you decide to take with your pets. May the odds be ever in your favor.