Calming Your Dog During Thunderstorms and Fireworks


Thunderstorms and fireworks can be daunting to a dog.  Here are some great tips to help your dog cope through these difficult periods by Jupiter, Florida Dog Trainer, Carol Harris who is an ABCDT Certified Dog Trainer and an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator.

Fear of thunderstorms, fireworks and other loud noises is common in puppies and dogs. Because we can’t control these outside events, it is important to do as much as we can to control our dog’s indoor environment during the frightening events.

Prepare by having things ready to decrease his stress level. Products are available to relieve stress and fear. These include calming collars, sprays and atomizers containing DAP (dog appeasing pheromones); snug wraps such as the Thundershirt; hemp oil, also called CBD oil; anti-stress tablets, chewies; and various holistic anti-stress compounds These products are helpful to many dogs and are worth trying. Your vet may prescribe medication for severe stress and anxiety.

Play music or TV to cover the scary sounds. If you can, stay at home and speak to your dog in a comforting voice to reassure him. Stress is contagious, so be calm.

When the storm (or fireworks) starts, immediately give very special treats to your dog every time you hear the thunder/fireworks. Timing is critical – put the treat at the dog’s mouth the instant the noise starts. This is counter-conditioning the dog to believe that thunder and fireworks bring treats! The noise becomes less scary, more rewarding. The dog becomes less frightened and less stressed.

Sometimes you may not be able to catch your dog for treats before he runs to his favorite safe hiding place. Some frightened dogs go under a bed or chair, others go to their crate, or any place that seems safe. If your dog has a special “safe place” in your home, where he seeks shelter, allow him to go there.Forcing your dog to come out will increase his stress and fear. Instead, take his favorite toy, or a stuffed Kong type toy, or a bully stick to his shelter. He may be too stressed to enjoy it during the storm or fireworks but can have it when he feels better. If your dog doesn’t have a safe place, you can try creating one by covering his crate with a blanket to block lightening, fireworks, and thunder, and placing the crate in a dark, quiet spot that your dog likes. An alternative is to put your dog’s bed or mat in a dark quiet place, with his water, a favorite toy. Check on him often to comfort and reassure him.

For further inquiries, Carol Harris can be reached at


Dog suffers from thunderstorm and fireworks anxiety

How stormy weather affects dogs: The Story of Chance

ChanceHow stormy weather affects dogs?  Let me tell you about Chance, a sweet and adorable Cairn Terrier.  This season I had the privilege and honor to walk Chance,. We took some good long walks together and he was spoiled with pampering, belly rubs, and treats.  But when
rainy or a stormy weather was coming, Chance became very anxious. He was a totally different dog.  How?  He would pant, run around the house, simply put: he could not stay still. When he was in his crate, he knocked over his water bowl and relentlessly paced back and forth. So I put a Thundershirt on him when he was in that state and he calmed down considerably. Long walks were extremely helpful as well as he worked off the nervous energy.  I even left the Thundershirt on during his walks too.

On occasion, when I was walking him, we would stop during the walk, sit on the grass, and I would rub his belly to reassure him that everything was going to be okay — Just so you know if we smell rain, so can they, many times more — As I had said to Chance’s owner, “When bad weather is coming, Chance can be your organic barometer to alert you that bad weather is on its way.”

Just remember when it rains or a bad storm is coming and if your dog reacts unfavorably, try the Thundershirt to calm them down, Bach’s Rescue Remedy or some lavender essential oils. If necessary, contact your vet to prescribe a tranquilizer or some type of calming meds. Remember your dog is your organic barometer.

Helpful tips for moving your pets

Some people have asked me lately about moving and your pets. The key is to plan ahead and here are some actions to take to make the transition easier:
1) Take them in the car with you a few times to get them used to the idea.
2). Take some pillows from the old house to the new house and a few days later bring them back from the new house  to the old house so they start getting used to the scent.
3) When transporting, make sure they are crated or seat belted with a harness so they are safe.
4). Some animals get anxious so you can purchase items like a Thundershirt, Bach’s Rescue Remedy, or essential oils such as lavender that is soothing.  Another option is, if need be, contact your veterinarian to see what other remedies are available.
5) On the day of moving make sure you have your dog on a leash with his or her tags with your telephone number.  Your cat place in a cat carrier, so he or she will not run away.  Make sure to have a collar and tag on as well.
6) When you get to your new home, make sure your pets are secured in a well-ventilated area such as a laundry room if it is inside the house or in a bedroom or bathroom with the door closed.

You want to have a plan in action ahead of time and to keep your pet safe.

Any other questions, contact President Max-well’s Pet Services. 561-827-7298

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