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Readers Respond: Fireworks and Thunder - Noise Phobias - Share What Works for Your Pet

Responses: 26


Fear of loud sounds - fireworks, thunder, gunshot - are called noise phobias. Some pets don't seem to notice, some get a bit stressed, and some pets are downright terrified by loud noises. My pets have "learned" this behavior from each other, and this behavior often intensifies with age.

On the Pets and Fireworks resource page, common noise phobia signs and behavior modification tips were offered. What worked with your pet for making it through fireworks and thunderstorms? Please share your tips and firework/thunderstorm stories here.

Don't miss: Summer Hazards - Readers Respond for general summer health tips. Share What Worked

Thunder and All Loud Things

Pet Naturals Calming for Dogs is an excellent product containing both bioactive proteins and amino acids which allow the body to produce it's own calming amino acids. The best part is no personality changes or knock out drug stupor. We use it religiously on our 9 yr old Collie mix and our 2 year old Boston Terrior mix.
—Guest terri

Noise Phobias in Dogs

My Golden Retriever Sandi does best in the bath tug with a kong of frozen peanut butter and the fan on.Also use herbal remedies as in Bach's Rescue remendy and HP storm stress.Big improvement.
—Guest Judy Petitto

Fireworks Calmer

I cook up a pound of pasta and give it to my dogs a few hours before the noises begin and it puts them to sleep. They can exercise later.
—Guest Jerre Pierce


Dr. Janet, My dog Maeve, now named Mabel in ner new adoptive home in Canada, is not afraid of fireworks or thunderstorms, but I still stayed home with her during any fireworks displays because of neighbourhood idiots firing off guns. Lest there be any mistake, I have been a recreational shooter myself, but having shots fired close to home concerned me. I had to have Mabel adopted through Newf rescue when I was in hospital for a month with cellulitis of the leg, possibly caused by MRSA, At any rate, it took a month of IV vancomycin to knock out the infection. Missed your yearly plea for cancer research, please resume it next year. Cordiallyl, Father Daniel Beegan, DD, D.Sc.
—Guest Father Daniel

Th Original Patented Anxiety Wrap

As a professional dog trainer who works with anxious dogs on a regular basis, I have seen consistently effective results with the Anxiety Wrap, the original pressure wrap invented by Certified Professional Dog trainer and T-Touch Practitioner, Susan Sharpe.

This worked for me

I tried the cd vincent recommended from http://www.cafepress.com/dogaudio and I have been really happy with what it did for my two GSPs. Normally very sensitive dogs it has really helped.
—Guest Trina


I have a chihuahua/rat terrier mix and after reading reviews from other pet parents about The Thundershirt, I decided to buy one for her. It helps immensely. Wearing it calms her down and makes it much more bearable for her when a storm passes through.

what I've tried

a combination of shirt plus acupressure point that calms the heart rate and fears / anxiety. The dog I tried this on also had to see his vet about his anxiety and is prescribed a couple anti-anxiety meds. I tried the med one night and the shirt / acupressure the next night and the shirt seems to be working better!
—Guest Dani

Thunderstorms, etc.

My dog goes into a panic attack...hard panting, clinging, fishy breath, etc. My vet prescribed Essence of Flowers, a homeopathic concoction of a specific combination from about 38 different flowers, tailored to my dog. It certainly doesn't cure her, but it definitely helps. She seems to welcome the drops, although she normally hates getting meds.

progressive desensitisation

I gotta say i swear by the progress desensitisation method. I used it for my lab and it worked so well we used it for my moms king charles spaniel. You gotta get the CD with all the rules on what to do tho, not just noises. i used this one: http://www.cafepress.com/dogaudio I did a lot of research and it appears to be the best.
—Guest Vincent

Frighten by Thunder Storms

I have a Sheltie, who is extremely frighten during thunder storms. I have purchased "The Thunder Shirt", and my girl has experience the storms with great ease. Thank you for the Thunder Shirt!!
—Guest Betty M

Chamomile tea calms my kitty

My state (RI) just legalized some types of fireworks and it has been trauma city for Snickers my 7 year old kitty. We've had a constant string of explosions out on our street over the last week and her nerves are shot. The slam of a car door sends her skittering under the couch so haven't seen much of her lately. She enjoys taking a few laps out of whatever I'm drinking. I decided to see if she would drink cooled camomile tea. She loves it! I let her have 5 or 6 laps out of my cooled tea and she settles right down. Now we both can enjoy the Fourth of July.
—Guest ctrax

terrified Chihuahua

My chihuahua is almost 15 yrs. old and always freaks out at thunder as well as car rides. I solved part of the travel problem by using a pet carrier. Then I read about calming meds in a dog magazine at the vet's office. The rest of the travel problem and the thunder problem was solved by a natural calming med by the name of HP Anxiety TFLN that my vet has started to carry. It is a natural homeopathic remedy that has no side affects or after affects. It can be given in water or by drops directly in the dogs mouth. I'm sure it's the same as some other pet owners have found. It's the best $16 I've spent. The 15 ml bottle I bought last year still sounds half full because the dog only gets 5 drops. It's a blessing not to have to listen to her cry and whine all night along while trying to find a spot she feels safe in - which she never finds. Now as soon as I hear the slightest rumble I give her the drops and she's fine. I think it's cruel not to try to help our pets if we can.
—Guest powwowmom2003

Thunder/Lightening/loud noises

Personally, I feel the same about Stewart our Beagle as I did for my children. Try other things before going to medications. My thinking was I may not be home to give the medication at times and he would suffer. We pop in a CD of soothing music it has worked since he was a baby. He is six now. We pop one in when we leave home too.He will sleep right through a storm. Now what to do to keep me calm when storms are really bad. lol Mary in Texas

thunder shirt

many of my dog lover friends swear by Thunder Shirts.
—Guest tygerhart

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Fireworks and Thunder - Noise Phobias - Share What Works for Your Pet

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