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7 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe All Summer Long

  • June 17, 2013
  • 3:28 pm
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4. Thunderphobia

Fear of thunder and loud summer sounds (such as 4th of July fireworks), otherwise known as thunderphobia, can take even the bravest of pets by surprise and send them hiding under the covers. To combat stress occasioned by the sounds of patriotic fervor and nature alike, consider the following tips from Dr. Debra Horwitz, veterinarian and canine-behavior expert:

1. Divert your doggie’s attention with something more exciting, such as a new toy or a toss of their favorite ball.

2. Reassure without rewarding negative behavior: Be careful not to reinforce the thunderphobia at hand through well-intentioned sympathetic behavior, such as petting. This can make your dog feel like there really is something to fear. Instead, use a happy, energetic tone of voice and engage in playful movements that pair these frightening noises with positive, engaging behavior.

3. Desensitize: Anything, even the boom of fireworks and thunder, becomes less frightening with familiarity. So familiarize your dog and gradually desensitize him or her to its shock value with an audio recording of the fearful sound. Start by playing the recordings fairly softly, and then gradually increase the volume as your pooch reacts less and less to the noise.

Homeopathic remedies are also widely available, increasingly popular, and have shown promising results among some of the shyest of dogs when thunder strikes. Many guardians of thunderphobic pooches swear by Rescue Remedy, one of the Bach Flower remedies known for treating stress and anxiety in dogs. And calming collars containing aromatic herbs such as lavender and mint can assuage the fears of some of the most high-strung of canines. Anxiety wraps, such as the Thundershirt (Thundershirt.com), mimic the swaddling sensation for your furry friend; the light pressure has a calming effect. Before beginning a homeopathic or prescribed regimen, however, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian.

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Read more: Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Pets, Safety, , , , , ,

Selected by Laura Drucker, TAILS Editor

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TAILS is an interactive website, online community, and print magazine that celebrates the relationship between pets and their people. TAILS features expert knowledge, advice, pet product reviews, local resource guides, community event listings, and fun contests to promote and encourage people to live responsibly with their pets.

80 comments

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12:54AM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

I don't have to worry about any of these because my cats are inside 24/7.

I did copy these and send them to my friends who have dogs so they can stay safe!

4:13AM PDT on Jul 20, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

4:32AM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

ty

6:38AM PDT on Jul 6, 2013

Scary, thanks!

8:02AM PDT on Jul 2, 2013

Great article!

11:51PM PDT on Jun 29, 2013

Thanks for info, may be helpful.

1:05AM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

Great tips! I think this article is enough to understand how the pet handles the heat and help the owner to protect their pets during the warmer months.

7:06PM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

Will make sure to tell my son about these. Thank you.

6:43AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

9:00AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

Great article my care2 friend ... ty ...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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