With Fourth of July fireworks and frequent thunderstorms, summer can be terrifying for our pets with anxiety or fear of loud noises.
Studies show more than 83 percent of dogs exhibit a fear of fireworks and 65 percent of dogs have fear of thunderstorms. However, only 13 percent of pet owners recognize the signs of fear and anxiety and are able to help their dog cope with these scary situations.
"Fireworks, thunderstorms and other loud noises can trigger fear, anxiety and stress for our dogs similar to a panic attack. It is a serious issue as one in five dogs goes missing after being scared by loud noises," said Dr. Todd McCracken, a veterinary services manager with Ceva Animal Health. "In fact, more dogs run away on the Fourth of July than any other day, making July 5th the busiest day of the year for animal shelters."
The most common signs of fear in dogs include hiding, trying to escape, barking, panting, drooling, pacing, shaking, chewing, digging, scratching and inappropriate elimination.
Pet owners can prepare their dog for a fear-free firework and storm season by following these steps:
- Prevent escapes. Secure your dog in an internal room so they will not rush out as people come and go. Ensure fences are fully secure.
- Check dog tag ID and microchip. Update name tags on a properly fitting collar. If your dog is microchipped, ensure the database has your current contact information so you can be reunited.
- Use a calming pheromone. Pheromones work by releasing "comforting messages" reinforcing your dog is safe. The ADAPTILⓇ Calm Home Diffuser and ADAPTILⓇ Calm On-the-go Collar are clinically proven to help dogs cope with loud noises.
- Create a safe place. Your pet should have access to a safe, secure and comfortable place where loud sounds or flashes can be eliminated such as an interior room. This space should include comfortable bedding and favorite toys including puzzle food dispensers.
- Play soothing sounds. Play some classical music or turn on the TV to mask outside noises.
To learn more about how to reduce summertime pet anxiety and stress, visit www.SummerNoises.com.