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Preparing Your Newfie For Fireworks BEFORE They Begin

 I have 2 new dogs this year.

This will be our first Fourth of July together and I have no idea how Odin and Finn feel about fireworks.

I’m not quite sure how they’re going to respond to the big booms that will be happening in a few short weeks. 

Right now, I’m more concerned about Odin than I am about Finn. 

I think that Finn is going to bark like he barks at everything but I don’t think that he’s going to have any severe anxiety over them.

I think that Odin has the potential to have some moderate anxiety though. 

He seems a little more skittish at loud noises and I’ve been watching him closely the last few days as some people dip into their stash of fireworks. 

The booms are far off in the distant but I know that if I can hear them, Odin can too. 

He doesn’t seem too bothered by them.

He doesn’t want to bolt inside and he’s not shaking but I’m still a little concerned that once the fireworks really start going that he might have an issue. 

Since I just don’t know I’m preparing for the worst and breaking out some of the things that were successful with Sherman.

If you find yourself in the same boat as me with new dogs, here are some tips that you can start trying right now just in case you need them. 

And if you have a dog with a known fear of fireworks, now is the time to prepare. 

Start now!

The 4th of July is in 2 weeks and it’s going to come up fast so you should try to stay ahead of the game instead of getting there just in time to play. 

This year is going to be different for many of us. 

Most areas have canceled firework displays due to social distancing which is going to leave a lot of people going out and buying their own. 

Your neighbor or several people on your block may be one of those people. 

I know that a bill just passed in the House allowing fireworks to legally be set off in the state of Ohio.

We are one of the few states left that don’t allow fireworks. 

Thundershirts For Loud Noises

I used a Thundershirt with Sherman and had pretty good results with it so I have one on hand for Odin.

I’ve already started putting the shirt on Odin to get him used to it. 

newfoundland dog wearing thundershirt

The Thundershirt isn’t going to work if you wait for the thunder or fireworks to start and if their first experiences with the Thundershirt are always related to being scared, you’re doomed. 

You don’t want them to associate the shirt with bad things, you want them to know it’s safe and good. 

Get them used to it now. 

Put it on for a few minutes a day and just let them walk around in it. 

Put it on them for a short walk, while they eat, while they play. 

(I purchased our Thundershirt from a local pet store and it is a XXL.)

CBD For Firework Anxiety

If you’re going to try CBD to help alleviate some of your dog’s anxiety, get it now. 

If you order it online, it’s going to take a few days or up to a week to get it. 

If you get from a local retailer, it’s going to be in high demand. 

You’re also going to need some time to find the correct dose for your dog and how long the CBD takes to get into your dog’s system and how they will react.

Check out: What You Should Know Before Giving Your Dog CBD Hemp Oil

Prescription Medications

If your dog needs a sedative that only your veterinarian can prescribe, fill it now. 

Depending on when your dog’s last exam was, the veterinarian might require an exam before they can fill the medication. 

This is going to take time because many vet clinics are booked due to the pandemic. 

4th of July is on a Saturday this week which means that many vet clinics will be closed for the weekend or have limited hours. 

Don’t wait until Friday to call in your dog’s medication!

Many clinics have a 24-48 hour turn around on medications and yours is NOT going to be ready if you wait until Friday. 

Be kind to your vet and their staff and call it in now. 

Start observing now.

If this is your dog’s first 4th of July, start observing their behaviors now. 

As I mentioned earlier, we can already hear fireworks in the distance almost every night. 

I am paying very close attention to how Odin reacts. 

We even experimented a little bit with some smoke bombs and sparklers to see how he would react. 

big dog wearing thundershirt

Neither one of these makes a loud noise but they do make a little bit of noise and have a certain smell. 

Odin does not like smoke bombs. 

He wanted to head right inside when we lit them in our firepit. 

He doesn’t mind sparklers at all. 

I don’t know how this year will go. 

Normally, the big display of fireworks is set off a few miles behind our house.

They are loud but predictable and I’m assuming that Odin would want nothing to do with them based on my current observations. 

But those have been canceled and I don’t know who is going to be blowing them off this year. 

I don’t know when and I don’t know where so I’m just going to be as prepared as I can be and keep my fingers crossed that I have a decent protocol in place and that Odin and Finn won’t be feeling too uneasy for the holiday. 

Do you have any tips to share on how you prepare your dog for fireworks? 

 

 

 

 

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Alayna

Thursday 18th of June 2020

Hey Jen! I'm excited for the fireworks. Though I do have a golden retriever (Daisy) she has anxiety during the fireworks, and also social anxiety. She usually just likes to hide. We are getting a Newfie puppy soon. Unfortunately the second litter we were going to pick from had an accident, the mom only had one puppy, and they think she might've urhm, sat on it. So now we have our own little joke that she sat on "our" puppy. Though we have no clue how far we are down the list. We're hoping we'll get to choose from the next litter. Though like I said no clue how far we are on the list, we may have to wait longer than that.

Jen

Thursday 18th of June 2020

Hi Alayna!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you get that puppy soon! I'm sorry to hear about the previous litter.

I hope that Daisy fairs ok this year with the fireworks!

Lisa Sangregorio

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Hi Jen, we share the same anniversary July 2nd! I'm currently teaching a puppy class and this week's topic was preventing a reactive dog. I find that using a sound protocol in which you play low level fireworks sounds- using you tube, or a sound app, and doing extra pleasurable activities- playing ball, giving treats... and slowly over the course of the next few weeks increase the volume while continuing to give the reward is helpful. If the pup or dog reacts negatively to the sound, lower it to where they don't mind and then continue...always backing off is there is a startle that they don't quickly recover from. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I always learn something new here! -lisa

Jen

Thursday 18th of June 2020

Thanks so much for the awesome tips Lisa! We were doing a little bit of the sound protocol that you mentioned and I think now I'll start doing it daily like you suggested!

Ducky's Mom

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Hi Jen!! I don't really have any tips but each dog is different - as you well know - so one just needs to know their dog and do their best to help the dog deal with its anxieties.

That said, I have found that noises don't really bother Ducky that much - like your Finn, she just barks at them - but hubby's moods do effect her. I recently - about a month ago - asked our vet for a recommendation of the best calming chews. He said they have found that the best results come from the VetriScience brand Composure chews. So, I bought some for Ducky and they work great! (I didn't want to go back to using Fluoxetine because I just never felt they helped her as much as they should have.)

Jen

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Thanks for the tips Sue! I have tried the Composure chews with Sherman before and they worked well. Might be a good idea to order some for Odin!

Fenris

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

We've had our Lottie for a solid year now, and she dislikes the sound of both fireworks and thunderstorms. The only thing that helps her though, is to let her seek out her comfort spot in our small bathroom, which has a cave-like cubby of sorts under the counter. She curls up in there and sometimes I sit with her, talking softly and gently scratching or massaging around her ears (which has a calming effect on her). Nothing else really helps, but she doesn't shake or bark during the fireworks or thunder, so I feel it's manageable given her own coping mechanism. I don't take her outside during thunderstorms or fireworks, and due to her previous experiences before we adopted her, she's acclimated to using indoor potty pads so we use those. She has a form of PTSD that effects her ability to poop outside (though she does pee regularly out there), something we've never been able to fix. We consider this as simply one of the behaviours we must accept in a traumatized rescue pup. In all other ways she is sweet, affectionate, smart and generally easy to train for most things.

Jen

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Awwww, poor Lottie! Bless her heart.

Odin seems to be ok with thunder so far so I'm really not sure how he's going to be. He has the potential to go absolutely crazy I think, but also the potential to want to hide.

Pim Witley Gilmore

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Hi Jen For whatever reason I'll go with boredom from stay at home orders, we've heard fireworks of various kinds and sounds here on island for nearly two months now not every night that thank heavens but enough. I have a great sound system in the barn because although my boys are moderately calm about most fireworks I've got my kiddos horse and my godchildren's horses as well as them their dog and my best friend Marin's dog and they were none to happy with the new living space as well as the extra noise- so back to basics for the barn listening I have both CD and satellite classic music that we play nightly which has settled Rio as well as a "thundershirt" kinda of blanket for horses. I ordered two more for Sundance and Holiday which seems to have calm them as well tool. The extra dogs chilled out faster once they found safe bedroom harbor with either me or the kids. It took Marin's berner Dolly awhile to settle in but she decided Zac and Peter will protect her so she goes between their bedrooms and the kids golden Chloe either sleeps with Katie or where ever poor Luke is but like a good newfoundland he shares his space like a trooper. Its a zoo here but the kids parents are Drs in NYC and CT so I've had them and all the animals since first of March LOL Luke and I just roll with it baby. I will say our neighbors use CBD for dogs and they swear by it for easing stress and anxiety, but we've been lucky that the classical music and thundershirts have work for us. I'll be thinking of Odin and Finn on the 4th and saying a prayer you all are safe in Ohio. Big hugs Pim .

Jen

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Hi Pim! Yes, sound has worked great in the past here too. We actually use to leave the fireworks on TV when the boys were younger but then Sherman started to have anxiety the older he got. I was playing fireworks on my phone the other night and Odin was very aware of it. He wasn't overly nervous, just aware so I'm just not sure how it's going to go with him.

You have a lot to keep you busy! Hahaha. And that's my kind of zoo!

Sending hugs right back to you <3

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