Dealing with a Fearful Dog

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Dealing with a Fearful Dog

by Dawn Arkin

Bang. Boom. The sounds of a beautiful fireworks display. An exciting finish to a 4th of July celebration. Something most humans look forward to each year.

But not something all of our four-legged friends look forward to. The bright lights and loud noises are enough to cause some dogs to run and hide under a bed.

Some dogs are not bothered by a fireworks display or thunderstorm; while other dogs become so stressed they can barely move. As a pet owner you need to be aware of the signs of fear in your dog.

Knowing the signs is the first step to helping him avoid the things that frighten him. Trembling and shaking, barking, drooling, hiding, and refusing to eat are all common signs of fear in a dog. In some severe cases, loss of bladder or bowel control is a sign of extreme fear.

While all of these are signs of fear, they can also be symptoms of diseases and poisoning. If the symptoms continue after the fireworks or thunderstorm is over, please take your pet to his veterinarian right away.

Knowing that your dog is afraid is half the battle. Knowing how to help him through his frightening event is the other half. Here are some tips to keep him calm and safe.

Be sure to keep your dog inside during a loud, frightening event. Close the curtains and turn on the television or radio to help distract him. If that does not help, and your dog has been crate trained, put him inside his crate so he can feel safe and secure.

If you know the event is going to happen, take your dog outside before so he can take care of his bathroom duties before. That way, he doesn't have to go out during the event.

Always be sure your pet has a current license and identification tags in case he gets loose from the house. Some dogs will bolt during a frightening time and all it takes is an open door or gate to lose your best friend. A terrified pet may not come back when called.

Sometimes being with your pet during his stressful time is the best thing you can do for him. Speaking softly and holding him. Just letting your pet know you are there for him can sometimes be enough to calm him down.

But what if your pet can't be soothed? Some dogs are so scared by loud noises that nothing can calm them down. If your dog is one of these four-legged friends, then talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of tranquilizing him during frightening events. Your dog's veterinarian will want to examine your dog before making a decision about whether tranquilizers are right for him.

Thunderstorms and fireworks can be frightening things to deal with, especially when you are a dog. Learn the signs of stress and you will be able to help your furry friend deal with his fear.

Dawn Arkin is a writer and animal lover who enjoys spending time with her pets. This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com which is a site for Pets.

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