Ahh… the season is upon us of BBQ’s, fresh watermelon and for us at least, big red hair. While the summer for our pets can be equally as divine, a couple elements may frighten Fido – storms and fireworks! For those of you who are tired of coaxing your dog out of the bathtub after a fireworks display year after year, we’ve put together this list of products and tips that should help.
If you haven’t seen the Thundershirt on TV or read about it in numerous periodicals, allow me to take a minute to tell you of it’s wonders. This lightweight jersey coat applies a constant soothing pressure that naturally calms dogs. If your dog typically pants and paces, you might notice him laying down and taking a nap instead. Yes, it works. Why does it work? We have no clue (nor does anyone else). They key is fit. If your dog is bordering between weights on the size chart, go with the smaller size. Like a winter coat or sweater, you want it to cover as much as possible, but you also want to make sure it’s snug. Still skeptical? Don’t worry! You have 45 days to try it. If it doesn’t work for your pup, you get your money back. The one recommendation we have for these shirts is to make sure that you try it out on your dog BEFORE a storm or fireworks. Some dogs aren’t use to wearing clothes and a shirt may freak them out more than a couple of big booms will. You also don’t want them to associate the shirt with scary things, so try treating them with their favorite goodies while they’re testing it out. Thundershirts have been a bestseller at Hot Diggity for a couple of years now and even some of our store dogs can be spotted wearing one during her shift.
Another great product we’ve loved for a long time is Happy Traveler by our friends over at Ark Naturals. Happy Traveler has the same effects as a really good chamomile tea. It will mellow them out without having a drugged-out effect. If your pooch isn’t a good pill-popper, they’ve just released a chew version. Pet Naturals of Vermont also offers a soft chew stress relieving bone as part of their treat line called Calming. All natural, effective and made in the USA.
Every health food store’s standard, Bach’s Rescue Remedy comes in an alcohol-free formula meant especially for pets. A blend of earthy botanicals have an immediate calming effect on dogs and cats. For best results, start giving Rescue Remedy to your pooch before the fireworks by dropping it into their water bowl or by putting it on their favorite treat. Aromadog makes a fantastic product called Chill Out which can be sprayed on your dog’s bed or directly in the air and makes a great accompaniment to any of the other products mentioned.
Don’t forget to make sure that you create a calm atmosphere for Fido. If he likes to hide under the bed, let him. He’s going there because he feels safe. If he needs a new safe zone, try giving him his own area with his favorite bed or blanket, a great chew like an antler, and some nice calming music to drown out the loud noises. Remember, the calmer you are, the calmer he’ll be. So, grab a glass of wine, put some sliced cucumbers over your eyes and show Fido that fireworks aren’t worth all the fuss.