WHEN YOUR DOG IS AFRAID #FIREWORKS

What do you do when your dog is afraid?…

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…besides feel your heart break in two 💔

It’s New Years Eve, about 9:30pm. The Boys have had a stellar day celebrating Jaxson’s first birthday. They watch us get ready for Watch Night Service content to let us go without them. #twotireddoodles

Earlier in the week Doodle Dad convinced me not only was Jax too big for his crate, but he was ready for a pardon from the warden when we leave the house on short trips. #doodleadvocate

Since I was “vetoed” on unlimited roaming privileges #threetoone – the last thing I do before leaving the house is take him outside for a potty break.

THAT’S WHEN IT HAPPENED –

While Lee grabbed his Bible and tambourine #yesIsaidtambourine I grabbed Jax and took him outside so he could handle his business.

We walked to the outer edge of the lawn, he circled twice and began to squat. #theusualdance 

And then…

The sky lit up like a giant halogen bulb and sounds similar to a gun competition filled the air.

Poor Jax jumped up, twirled around, and took off. He cleared the hedge like an Olympic hurdler and dragged me to the door.

Thank the doodle I was able to bend around the side of the hedge or this would be a totally different story #stoplaughing

MY DOG WAS AFRAID –

When we got in the house, he ran to the recliner…

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Minutes later Doodle Dad comes downstairs and nonchalantly asked “are you ready?” 

Because Jaxson’s behavior startled me, I started rambling about – the sky – the noise – the hedge and then I realized: he never did pee.

After he calmed down I tried to coax him into the backyard. He loves his backyard. #nottonight

My baby Doodle – traumatized by the over zealous NYE celebrators and their fireworks.

NOW WHAT DO I DO? –

Most professionals (to include those pet parents who’ve dealt with this issue) will tell you some of the best ways to cope with this is to –

  • Make sure you are close by
  • Drown out the fireworks with white noise
  • Try calming natural supplements
  • Use a Thundershirt to keep the anxious dog snug and calm.

While he commandeered the recliner, I tried talking to him. He wasn’t buying anything I had to say…

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I even contemplated sending Doodle Dad to Church w/o me.

Harley was not the least bit fazed. Visibly exhausted from birthday fun, he looked at me – gave a head nod as if to say “I’ve got this – Lil’ Dood will be fine with me.”…

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THEN MY MIRACLE CAME –

it started to rain. #thereisaGod

I have never been so happy to hear rain in all my life.

The fireworks stopped. The over zealous celebrators had run for cover. #fixitJesus

Jax and I stood in the rain, feeling victorious as he peed a river all by himself.

Eventually we left, all the lights were on and the television too, we were late, it rained all night and they were fine when we returned.

It’s now the 3rd of January and I’m waiting for these people to run out of sparklers, cherry bombs and whatever else they purchased #williteverend?

I’m reading as much as I can on “how to” help him cope with this new emotion. We (humans) understand the holiday’s and the many ways in which people celebrate. Dogs do not. That along with their keen senses  makes pawfect sense that they may be frightened when they hear the noise.

I still jump (and sometimes shriek) when a balloon pops #shutthedoodledoor

Can I desensitize Jaxson to the sound of fireworks? Not sure – he’s a year old now. Hopefully Harley can help me as I try to create a positive association to the fireworks.

MAKING SOME PROGRESS –

Saturday the fireworks went on throughout the entire day.  Late afternoon he pulled me home so fast from our walk I almost looked like the Flying Nun going down the street. #liftoff

So he watched The Rose Bowl, The Fiesta Bowl, and any other “Bowl” game that came on …

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They got a little louder Saturday night, so he helped me check emails until they subsided…

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But tonight he hung out in the driveway with us and wasn’t too concerned when one or two echoed from a distance. #keepinghopealive

Slowly I’m seeing my ole “maniac” emerge…

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Fireworks can cause tremendous anxiety for dogs.

HERE ARE A FEW ARTICLES –

Dogs and Fireworks: Dealing with Anxiety

Why Are Dogs Scared of Fireworks? – 11 things You Should Know

Easy Ways to Help Dogs Cope With Fireworks

QUESTION –

Have you ever dealt with this type of anxiety? If so #help

Happy New Year – thanks so much for sticking and staying – #2016ishere

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31 Comments
  • Lauren Miller
    January 4, 2016

    Both of my dogs have panic attacks when there are fireworks. It’s absolutely awful. We are going to get diazapam for the 4th of July. Noise phobias are hard to desensitize and we’ve been trying for 4 years with Zoe but she’s not getting any better.. In fact, I think it’s probably worse. It’s time for some medical intervention, unfortunately. :/

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 4, 2016

      I never had to worry about this with Harley or Leo, so these are unchartered waters for me 🙁 Thanks so much for your advice. I’ve got a really cool holistic vet now, will chat with her before the 4th of July for sure. Another blogger wrote a post not too long ago about some all natural “calming” treats – I’ll just have to figure out what’s going to work best for my Jaxy. Take care, and thanks again – looking forward to more Zoephee stories in 2016.

  • The Daily Pip
    January 4, 2016

    Awe, poor Jax! Ruby is afraid of many things but not fireworks. I’ve heard great things about Thundershirts, but haven’t tried them personally.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 4, 2016

      I have only heard great things about them too. I will certainly have to do something – fireworks are legal in the State of SC and from what I’ve heard people will set them off as often as they can #ugh

  • NIchole
    January 4, 2016

    The Lapdogs aren’t too crazy about fireworks either… we had a few jokers setting them off in the neighborhood, but not many. I’m hoping Tut & Sophie don’t teach Penny to be afraid…

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 4, 2016

      Here’s another way to look at it Nicole – PAWhaps, Penny will help them out of it #keepinghopealive It’s so sad to see our babies nervous and unhappy 🙁

  • Spencer the Goldendoodle
    January 4, 2016

    I’m so sorry to hear about this, I am scared of Fireworks as well! My humans try their best to keep me calm but it is hard. I have found keeping the tv on while wearing my calming collar earlier in the day does help.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 4, 2016

      So you’re wearing a calming collar? Hmmmmmm, I might have to look into that before the 4th of July. So sorry to hear you go through this too Spencer!

  • Jan K
    January 4, 2016

    Poor Jax, and thank God for that rain! Our beagle Cricket is petrified of them. We have one neighbor who sets them off, but luckily it’s usually for a limited time. I didn’t have any luck with thundershirts or that type of thing with her. I use PL360 Anxiety Relief which helps her in the car, but I haven’t tried it with fireworks yet (because I never know when they’re coming and it just doesn’t work that fast!).
    They did set some off this last New Year’s – we were in bed watching TV so we cranked up the volume, turned on the fan, and I got her under the covers with me and just snuggled her. That did seem to help some.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 4, 2016

      Looks like I might have to invest in a fan before the 4th of July. I just hate to see him so sad.

  • Two French Bulldogs
    January 4, 2016

    Mom blasts the TV so loud we can’t hear nothing
    Lily & Edward

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 4, 2016

      You are two “lucky” Frend Bulldogs then 🙂

  • Dashlilly
    January 4, 2016

    Oh no. The worst! Dash and Lilly get very excited and bark and bark and BARK when they hear fireworks. Poor Dash really gets into it. I fear he will get a sore throat! Once it starts there isn’t much I can do. If I can–if I know the time of the show (we live right near a country club that loves to celebrate holidays with fireworks) I turn the television on and I run a fan! Helps to drown out the fireworks. Otherwise… I just hope to get through it with them. (I do put a Thundershirt on Lilly, but she follows Dash with the Bark Bark Barking!!!)

    Good luck!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 4, 2016

      Isn’t it funny how dogs react differently? There was no barking – just Jax huddled on the couch looking so sad 🙁

  • DZ Dogs
    January 4, 2016

    It’s possible that hanging out with Harley who doesn’t care, will help Jax learn to ignore them too.
    Dante and Ziva both could care less about fireworks, gun shots, thunder….they just chill. Former foster Jack was upset for a minute about the 4th of July but snuggled in with Dante and Ziva and they never bothered him again. Then Mikey and Eddie showed concern over a thunderstorm, looked at Dante and Ziva – took cues and also settled in.
    Power of the pack unite! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 4, 2016

      That’s why we felt okay leaving Jax with Harley while we ran off to Church. He usually follows Harley’s lead in other circumstances and so I had fingers crossed that this would be one of those times too!

  • Emma
    January 4, 2016

    My sister Katie developed a fear of them when she was about 9, but now at 13, she is almost deaf, so they are no longer an issue. She used to just go upstairs and sleep in the inside bathroom with no windows when she heard them. Bailie is a bit afraid of them now, but Mom cuddles with her and tries to calm her. Me, I sleep through them no problem. Hope your guy gets over it soon.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 4, 2016

      Emma you and Harley are so much alike. He too just finds some place comfy and goes to sleep. Didn’t hear any last night so perhaps they are finished for this holiday 🙂 #Ipray

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    January 4, 2016

    Ugh. It’s awful. Mr. N generally isn’t noise sensitive but he hates fireworks. NYE wasn’t too bad but I’m considering drugs for the fourth!

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 5, 2016

      I will not make any plans for the 4th, I will be here the entire weekend with them! #justincase

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    January 4, 2016

    I’m so sorry Jax didn’t like the fireworks. Thanks for the links to help others out.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 5, 2016

      You and me both JoAnn, I’m praying by the 4th of July he’ll have gotten a little braver.

  • Levine
    January 5, 2016

    Excellent blogs. I really appreciates with your article. thanks for sharing useful tips with a wonderful, nice and simple photos.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 5, 2016

      Thank you! Please continue to follow the Boys adventures.

  • Kari
    January 5, 2016

    Oh no! That must have been as stressful for you as Jaxson! I hate fireworks. My dogs don’t mind them, but Mia freaks out when she hears the over timer. Lately, I’m supposed to be giving her eye drops for dry eye and now, whenever I get out the bottle, she runs away from me like Jaxson in these pics. Breaks my heart! I’d rather not give her the medicine than have her afraid of me!

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 6, 2016

      Kari – it was so hard sitting in Church that night. As soon as the service was over I was trying to get out of the door. He was fine, but you’re absodoodletutely correct – it was stress city for me that night. Gotta get a plan into place before the 4th of July. We’ll stay home with them but I need “Back-up” Hope the eye drop fear goes away soon.

  • Jen
    January 6, 2016

    Poor Jaxson and poor you! Leroy isn’t phased by fireworks but Sherman has the older he gets. He’s afraid of thunder now too. I always coddle him which I heard wasn’t good but I do it anyway. If I know the booms are coming I always try to distract him with a game or turn on the radio or TV. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve also use Rescued Remedy by Backh Flowers and it seems to take the edge off.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 6, 2016

      Never heard of Rescued Remedy – but it’s good to know. I’m keeping hope alive with the thought that by the 4th of July he will be over it #fingerscrossed

  • Monika
    January 12, 2016

    Twice a year I see poor pets traumatized by clueless humans when it comes to fireworks. At least in the winter at most locations, the windows aren’t open to let more sound and smells of them into the house. I turn up stereo if Sam gets anxious but know that doesn’t always work on all pups. Hoping your guys survived and are on to new and better adventures. ღ

  • Watson
    January 25, 2016

    Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences about dogs afraid .sometime i saw that my dogs too much afraid with reason but i can’t understood why he afraid.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 26, 2016

      Thanks Watson for stopping by

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