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How to keep your dogs calm during Fourth of July fireworks

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 23:19:22-04

WAUKESHA — Ask any dog owner about fireworks, and you may hear something like this.

"He doesn’t like fireworks," said Clarise Valencia about her 10-month-old corgi, Mochi. "He will bark at the fireworks and run to me and snuggle with me until the fireworks are done."

"Right now I'm trying to tire him out a little bit so he does sleep well," said Keena Shepherd. "Problem is, it's Fourth of July weekend, and fireworks happening all weekend."

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Katie Oilschlager owns Think Pawsitive Dog Training in Waukesha. She says her dog, Presley, doesn't like fireworks either. She offered some advice.

"Keep your dog on a leash, walk them during the day," Oilschlager said.

When the fireworks do start, she says be aware of how your dog is feeling, but don't do this: "Don't go ahead and say, 'It's ok,'" Oilschlager said.

She added, "It reinforces and can go ahead and create more nervousness or more fear."

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Instead she says try to make your home as relaxing as possible. She says supplements, herbs, essential oils and CBD can help. If your dog wants to hide, she says let them.

"Closing the windows, closing the drapes," Oilschlager said. "Get them to relax on something like a licky mat inside, using calm music."

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If your dog runs away outside, she says try to lure them back with treats. She says the key is being prepared. If you really need help, she says call your veterinarian.

But, sometimes fireworks can go off without warning even beyond Independence Day celebrations.

"At least this weekend we can prepare, but otherwise when people just light them off, it’s kind of frustrating for dog owners," Shepherd said.

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