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BOOM! BANG! July 4th And Your Dog—Often Not a Happy Combination

Pet dogs and 4th of July Fireworks

In the Spring and around the 4th of July, my phone rings off the hook with concerned pet owners looking for solace for their sound phobic dogs.

BANG!  BOOM!!! Both thunder and lightning storms and 4th of July celebrations create the same Sky Monsters for doggies, resulting in such benign issues of hiding behind sofas to such damaging issues of eating them - due to stress.

When dogs age, they have a tympanic membrane that gets more and more sensitive to barometric pressure changes, which is what they respond to on the thunderstorm rating.  This cannot be medically alleviated, so they get more reactive to weather.  The resultant lightning and then thunder only serves to vamp up the pressure issue, and lo and behold, we have a thunderstorm phobic dog.

There are many positive training ways of working with such a poor wee beastie, and some of the operant conditioning training methodologies work wonders in these cases, so do not give up! 

Even though the 4th of July comes once a year and spring thunderstorms are sporadic, it helps your dog to be comfortable if you plan ahead and hold their paws thru the Big Bang Booom!

Dorene, who lives with two thunderstorm phobic Border Collies

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Dorene Olson July 05, 2012 at 09:25 AM
Hey Gary, glad you found it. Shelties, eh? Among the most sound sensitived dogs in existence, but you sound like the boy that you have is bomb-proof. What kind of chickens do you have, and where are you? I don't know if you have been following my friend Guy Niere's plight in the city of Black Jack - he is fighting for his chickens. He was written up as an education article in the Post Dispatch and the mayor did not know that there were chickens in his municipality and now they are trying to get rid of them - he is breeding the rare Black Spanish Penedesencas and trying to preserve them, but it does not look good for his efforts. The vest you are referring to is called an Anxiety Wrap or Thunder Storm Phobia Wrap, depending on who you get it from. One can emulate the same effect with an ace bandage or two, depending on the size of the dog. It was created by the Tellington Touch people from Colorado, who work on focusing mental states with physical affects, and is highly functional in its work. I could dig up some more research and/or product referrals if needed - thank you for bringing this up, this is the time of year that gets REALLY busy for these sorts of dogs. Dorene, and Quill (now nearing 9 years old) and Anna (14 years old) - both of them getting pretty severe Storm/Noise Anxiety
Gary K Lee July 06, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Hi Dorene, We have 5 Barred Plymouth Rock hens in Maplewood, where up to 6 are legal. They are entertaining characters. I have heard some about your friend Guy Niere's plight. It's sad the city of Black Jack is taking that action. I have also been hearing about the front yard vegetable garden issue in Ferguson. What a waste of tax dollars in a situation where the yard is very orderly.
Gary K Lee July 06, 2012 at 06:13 AM
Dorene, has anyone tried to file a petition like through Change.org to help Guy Niere's plight?
Dorene Olson July 07, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Gary: Thank you so much for your concern - I just left him a message asking him and forwarded your link. I have not heard of the Ferguson problem, I will have to look into it, it does sound pretty ludicrous.
Gary K Lee July 08, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Here is the link on the garden blog: http://vegetableyarden.wordpress.com/

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