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Fun not fear on the Fourth

July 3, 2014

Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand in hand. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to celebrate with the crowd at a splendid staging of pyrotechnics. However, the commitment to be a lifelong guardian for one or more dogs involves many sacrifices (for which payback is immense), and this may be one of them. If you live a good distance (as in several miles) from the site of the festivities, you may not have to worry or sacrifice. If you live within the community where the fireworks are being set off, you need to think through the situation.

If your dog has never come to peace with loud noises such as thunder or automobile backfirings, he is in danger of irrational, panic behavior when fireworks go off for much of an evening. You may feel that if you have him safely contained within a locked bunker of a home, or a secured crate of the indestructible kind, you can trust to leave home and join the fun at the fireworks. But consider this: preventing the dog from fleeing will keep him safe from outside harm, but it won’t do a thing to reduce his fear. If terror has rendered him irrational, he may turn on his own body and do damage to himself.

Even if your dog’s behavior isn’t that extreme, she may spend the entire fireworks time huddled and trembling. To be left alone to suffer like that is not appropriate or acceptable. If you stay home and create some competing noise that the dog enjoys, such as music, or even just the bland white noise of a fan or some kind of white noise-making appliance, while you give her cuddles and lots of comforting talk, you will see her through the annual celebration.

One idea that has worked for me at times in the past when I had dogs living with me who were upset by too-close fireworks is to take a drive with them. We would go several miles away from the fireworks site and have our own peaceful celebration. If you are fortunate enough to have high spots and open vistas where you live, as I do in the Rocky Mountains, you may even be able to see, but not hear, the fireworks display from the comfort of your car.

This fear of noises like fireworks need not be accepted as permanent, to be dealt with year after year. Dialogue® has a stunning success rate at removing anxiety and fear of all kinds in dogs. Fourth of July fireworks can be part of the benefit package that’s yours when you develop Dialogue® with your dog; and your dog gets peace of mind.

Have a great, cool, calm holiday!images8GD91NPU

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