It’s that time of year again! Lots of festivals and celebrations and outdoor events that always end in fireworks. With the Fourth of July celebrations coming up, we know that we will get calls about frightened and stressed out greyhounds. The calls we don’t want to get are the ones when a greyhound has gone into a panic and jumped a fence or pulled out of a collar.
Yes, fireworks!!!! Even the most docile and well adjusted hounds can turn into frightened animals trying to find a way to hide from all the noise.
Here are some suggestions for helping your greyhound make it through all the noise.
– If you have a fenced in yard, DO NOT leave your hound unattended. Make sure that all gates are locked and that there are no holes in a fence or spaces under a fence for a dog to get through. Limit the time that your greyhound is outside in the evening after dark. If you leash walk your hound, do NOT take him/her outside when fireworks are expected. If you cannot avoid walking, then make sure your hound’s collar is adjusted properly and the leash is fastened correctly. Use a harness if you feel that you must walk during this time.
– Make sure that your hound is wearing a collar with an I.D. tag on it (personal and FFGR, Inc. tag) and that all of your information on the tag is up to date. Even if your hound does not usually wear a collar, you might want to make an exception during this time of year just to make sure that it can be located if it gets lost.
-If your hound does panic at the sound of fireworks, don’t over react. Let your dog find a place where it feels safe. This might mean a corner of a room, a closet, a bathroom or even the bathtub. Try putting one of your own T-shirts on your hound or any article of clothing that carries your scent. You can even cover over your hound with a blanket once it’s found its safe spot.
– If you have a basement, put your hound there as it may buffer the noise outside a bit. You can also set up a crate and cover it over with a comforter or blanket prior to when you expect the fireworks displays to start.
– Don’t try to comfort your hound if it gets stressed out. This may inadvertently reinforce the behavior as the dog will think that you are rewarding it for being frightened. Treat this as nothing important; be nonchalant. Your dog will respond to your suggestions.
– An adult dose of Benadryl given before the fireworks are scheduled can make your hound drowsy. You can also use a D.A.P. (dog appeasing pheromone), an all natural way to treat anxiety in dogs that comes in several forms including plug in oil, spray and/or a collar. You can use a combination of Melatonin and Rescue Remedy as well. Call your vet and ask about other recommended medications if your hound gets very stressed out.
Make this summer a stress free time for you and your hound! Check for all scheduled events in your area and then take the proper steps to avoid panic times! Have a safe and happy summer!!!