For YEARS we have tried to help Koda with her Firework Phobia. We have found some products work for a little bit but always end up having to change it up. We would like to share with you the products we have tried and of course Koda’s current Firework Phobia Routine.
1. Thunder Shirt: applies gentle pressure, similar to swaddling a baby.
Pro: Easy to use, the cheapest phobia option
Con: Doesn’t work with all dogs: we tried this with Koda and it didn’t seem to help her at all. Although through the years research has made me rethink about trying again. I think our problem was we didn’t keep it on her long enough for her to feel comfortable with it. So reminder: Put it on your pup and leave it on for a while to see if they get comfortable with it.
You can always try your hand at the DIY thunder shirt as well.
Pro: best used with additional phobia options, helps take the edge off
Con: if you wait to give treat after pup hears their phobia, i.e. fireworks/thunder they may not take the treat-you will need additional help, like vienna sausages!
We use this often with Koda.
I could write a whole book on different Lavender products that we have tried. The pet calming diffusers, the calming collars, essential oils, etc. We have found the best thing is to spray a bandana with Burt’s Bees Calming Spray and put it on Koda. Check out all the lavendar calming products and more at Chewy.com
4. Calming Food
We have previously tried Royal Canin’s Calming Dog Food. It did not have a big effect on Koda, it could be that we couldn’t afford to keep her on it long enough to see a different.
Sileo is the first FDA approved medication for Dogs with noise phobias. It is a gel that goes on their gums 30 mins before noise begins. We have only tried this on Koda once, we are unsure if it worked. She may have just calmed down because the storm had passed.
Pros: This medication is designed for dogs with noise phobias, easy to give (just shoot the correct dose on the inside of your pets jaws next to their gums.)
Cons: with a big dog- the tube doesn’t last long. For Koda (the tube only allows four doses). Requires a visit to the vet for prescription. The BIGGEST con is it only good for 2 weeks after opening the tube. This is fine when firework season is in effect but thunderstorms can be few and far between.
FIREWORK PHOBIA ROUTINE
We have tired all the products above and through lots of trial and error we have found that the follow is the best routine for Koda.
- 2-3 calming chews
- Spray bandana with calming spray and put around her neck
- Put her in our small bathroom that is in the middle of our house away from outside walls (with some water) & remove anything she can destroy
- Turn on bathroom fan
- Turn up iHeartRadio and set to ThePianoGuys station
- Give her a few vienna sausages (Her favorite)
- And close the door
This usually helps her get through the night. No it is not ideal, we would must rather be able to put a thunder shirt or give her some medication and she hang with us as normal, but fireworks are her kryptonite and we must do what we can.
Do you have a firework/storm routine that seems to work for your noise phobia pup? Share your story below!