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Hey guys,

After the recent Fourth of July holiday, I found that one of my dogs (Italian Mastiff, aka Zoe) in particular really hated fireworks. Now, I know this is normal for dogs, but my other two dogs (St. Bernard and Maltipoo) weren't really bothered by them.

I saw on the Today show this morning that people came up with a few clever methods to distract their pets from the explosives going on outside and that got me wondering: what do you guys do to help your pet with anxiety during holidays that normally use fireworks for celebration? I'd love to know as I need some tips to calm Zoe next time one of those holidays come around.

Thanks! :)
 

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Frozen kong filled with wet food/ground meat, calming music/reliable tv show that she likes to listen too (I may anthromorphise a bit, but my dog loves Gilmore Girls lol), and me to cuddle. Occasionally if she's really stressed, she'll take a squeaky tennis ball and squeeze it like a tension ball/soother.
 

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Zody got generic xanax. I've tried the 4th of July, and New Years, without it in the past and the poor boy became a quaking, shivering, shaking mess that hid for HOURS after the last of the fireworks went off. When he's like that nothing I do helps, he does not want to be held, trying to lay by his hiding place has caused him to go to his other one, and he will not take treats. With the xanax he still hid, but was willing to come out and take treats, and he came out after they were over within around 30 minutes.

Just how bad is Zoe? Is she still able to stay out with you? Will she take treats? Will she still play? Some tricks for a mildly fearful dog is to distract them with food every time a firework goes off, your timing has to be pretty good and you have to have those treats ready to pop in the dogs mouth within a few seconds of the firework going off. You can try playing with her and amp up the play every time the firework goes off. Try playing tug as tug can help relive stress. Turn the TV or radio up loud to drown out some of the sound. For some dogs a thundershirt or DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) spray or diffuser lessens anxiety.
 

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Ours doesn't seem to take them too badly. He just curls up underneath my desk which is his favoured spot anyway. Actually, not many things stress him. Odd things. The shower being turned on and sometimes the phone ringing........

Maybe we just got lucky.
 

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Zody got generic xanax. I've tried the 4th of July, and New Years, without it in the past and the poor boy became a quaking, shivering, shaking mess that hid for HOURS after the last of the fireworks went off. When he's like that nothing I do helps, he does not want to be held, trying to lay by his hiding place has caused him to go to his other one, and he will not take treats. With the xanax he still hid, but was willing to come out and take treats, and he came out after they were over within around 30 minutes.

Just how bad is Zoe? Is she still able to stay out with you? Will she take treats? Will she still play? Some tricks for a mildly fearful dog is to distract them with food every time a firework goes off, your timing has to be pretty good and you have to have those treats ready to pop in the dogs mouth within a few seconds of the firework going off. You can try playing with her and amp up the play every time the firework goes off. Try playing tug as tug can help relive stress. Turn the TV or radio up loud to drown out some of the sound. For some dogs a thundershirt or DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) spray or diffuser lessens anxiety.
She's not too bad -- I'm wanting to know just to kind of make her feel more comfortable. She doesn't hide away, but she becomes frantic and begins panting at, from my observation, and incredibly alarming rate. She also tends to run back and forth from my son's room. Not entirely sure what that's about either. I'll try the diffuser; will have to look up some essential oils for calmness. I've heard lavender's a good one.

Also KayWilson, your dog has amazing taste in TV shows, LOL. I'll need to try the frozen kong -- very creative idea.

Thanks guys! :)
 

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Something to keep him occupied, a bone or a filled Kong. I close the curtains and blinds, make it super dark and give him his space.

He doesn't get stressed too often though, he's pretty good that way. Only time he'll get stressed is if I have a dog staying for a trial and they're a nightmare. Our house is pretty calm and quiet so having a mental Vizsla screaming the house down put him on edge.

*edit* also if he comes to me seeking attention I'll invite him up for a cuddle on the couch, always settles him down :)
 
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