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Summer in Arizona Means Monsoon Thunderstorms and Fireworks!

Thunderstorms and fireworks may cause fear and anxiety for your dog. Those booming fireworks and natural “light and sound shows” may be fun for you to watch, but consider how they affect your four-legged friend.

When monsoons come, you can hear rumbling off in the distance. While some dogs may carry on “as usual”, others may hide, bark, tremble, or seek comfort from you. Further, many communities’ Fourth of July celebrations have been cancelled due to COVID-19; however, some celebrations may still be in the works and families and individuals may have their own private fireworks festivities planned. Before you plan a backyard fireworks show, consider that the noise created by fireworks is similar to that created by thunderstorms when they roll through. If your dog fears thunderstorms, chances are she/he fears fireworks, too.

Fear of loud noises is common in dogs and arises from their natural survival instincts. When thy face a threatening situation I.e. strange sound, animal or person, etc.), fear is nature’s way of protecting them from harm. The dog’s fear alerts him or her to potential danger and stimulates a “fight or flight” response to keep him/her safe by either approaching the danger or fleeing from it.

The problem is that some dogs have an excessive fear of thunderstorms or fireworks and develop a phobia. In the case of thunderstorms, these dogs not only react to the noise, but also to lightning, change in barometric pressure, windy conditions, and darkening sky that accompanies the rolling and cracking sounds of thunder. When thunder-phobic dogs are really scared, they act out.

There are steps you can take to deal with both thunderstorm and fireworks phobia.

~ Accompany your dog to a soundproof room in your house, such as an interior room that doesn’t have windows or your basement. Set up your dogs bed or crate for comfort.

~ Play fetch or tug of war using your dog’s favorite toy.

~ Turn on the TV, radio, or fan to help block the noise.

~ Try filling a kong with peanut butter or favorite treats to keep your dog preoccupied.

~ If your dog enjoys being in her/his crate, try covering it with blankets to help muffle the noise of the storm or fireworks.

~ Some dogs feel secure when placed in a weighted dog vest or anti-anxiety wrap. Ask your veterinarian about these options.

~ Be sure to follow the above steps when it’s not storming or prior to fireworks season. This will help your dog become familiar and comfortable with the room/routine, and will help prevent the association of this room or routine to only thunder and fireworks.

~ Never set fireworks off near your dog. Keep your pets inside your home during the time you or others may be setting off fireworks. This helps with anxiety and helps prevent your dog becoming frightened and running away.

Prepare your dog for the inevitable storms and fireworks. Have a happy Fourth of July!




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Mon - Fri 7:30am - 5:30pm
Sat: 8 AM – 10 AM (Boarding and food/prescription pickup ONLY)