Sunday, June 25, 2017

Calming Solutions For Your LGD - Livestock Guardian Dog During Fourth of July Fireworks




Symptoms displayed by dogs with canine noise aversion


Canine Noise Aversion: Calming Solutions For Your
Livestock Guardian Dog 
During Fourth of July Fireworks


Brenda M. Negri
© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Independence Day is just around the corner.  Many Livestock Guardian Dog owners fret and dread it's approach.  Why?  Fireworks!  Does your LGD fear loud noises such as firecrackers, gun shots, thunder, construction racket, etc.?  Some of mine do and it is always traumatic.  They exhibit many of the symptoms in the illustration above.  Does your LGD do any of these, too?

"The fear and anxiety associated with noise is commonly called noise sensitivity, anxiety or phobia, depending upon the types and severity of clinical signs. Noise aversion is a term used to encompass the spectrum of degrees of fear and anxiety associated with noise." -- Zoetis US

What is canine noise aversion?  This excellent page will get you up to speed on that subject!

My wonderful and trusted vet Dr. Katie Estill at Desert Trails Vet Services in Winnemucca, Nevada prescribes using SILEO to help calm dogs who are exposed to stressful noise events.

SILEO helps to alleviate signs of noise aversion by:

  • Calming without sedating, so that the dog remains fully functional to interact normally with the family

  • Reducing the dog’s suffering and distress and, subsequently, the pet owner’s stress, helping to preserve the human-animal bond

More information about Sileo is here.  What else can the LGD owner do besides using Sileo?

💟Remove your working guardian dog from livestock and if possible, bring your LGD into the barn, house or an enclosed area during the Fourth of July fireworks.  Many LGDs run away never to return because owners leave them out in stock, assuming the dog will "tough it out" or "be okay".  In the morning, they are shocked to find their LGD has disappeared - usually for good.  Escaped LGDs are often hit by traffic and killed on a road while trying to escape from fireworks noise.

💟If possible stay with them.  Stroke them softly and speak in a calming, soft tone.
💟Offer a juicy meat bone or their favorite chew toy if they have one.  Make sure water is available.  Do they have a favorite blanket?  Let them lay on it.

💟If you can't stay with the dog at least check on him throughout the noisy part of the evening to make sure he is not trying to escape or dig out.  Your presence will help calm him.

💟Once the noise is over, make sure your LGD is settled and calm before putting him back in with livestock.  It's advisable to wait until morning.

💟Some people use or advocate "thunder shirts" which are fabric "coats" that can be fastened around the dog's torso to aid in calming him.  Chewy.com carries many calming remedies in addition to the shirts.  Revival Animal sells other items as well that can assist in calming dogs, including one specifically to be used the day before ("July 3rd").  

Help make your LGD's Independence Day a "Yankee Doodle Dandy" - instead of a nightmare - by looking into calming remedies to help him if he has noise aversion!