Dogs and Fireworks Phobia Dealing with a Fear of Fireworks in Dogs
(Amy Bender - About.com)
A fear of fireworks is a fairly common phobia for dogs. They often find the loud, unpredictable noise and bright displays of light truly frightening. Even a seemingly confident dog can tremble and drool at the unfamiliar sounds. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help your dog get through the festivities.
Desensitize Your Dog to the Sound of Fireworks
If you have some time before the 4th of July or an anticipated fireworks display in your neighborhood, you can begin getting your dog used to the sounds. This is referred to as desensitization, and it can be done in a few simple steps:
If you don't have time to prepare for the fireworks, or if desensitization hasn't ended your dog's fear of fireworks completely, there are things you can do to help ease his fears. These things may help with dogs who have a mild to moderate fear of fireworks.
In the case of a severe phobia, nothing may work to ease your dog's fear. If there's a chance your dog make exhibit this level of fear, talk to your veterinarian about medication. He may be able to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or sedative to keep your dog calm during the fireworks.
Medication may be the only answer to get through the fireworks this season. As soon as the fireworks stop, however, you can begin preparing for the next one with a program of desensitization. A trainer or behaviorist may also be helpful. In severe cases, you may not ever be completely successful in eradicating the phobia, but you may be able to ease some of your dog's fear.
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