How To Keep Your Dog Safe and Calm During Fireworks


Fireworks season can be a time of anxiety for our pets. Without understanding these noises, animals become scared, frantic, and can even run away if not kept safely indoors. According to national statistics, Animal Control Services see a 30% increase in lost pets around the summer fireworks season, so it is vitally important to ensure your dog feels safe and secure during fireworks. So what does stress look like in our four-legged friends? Here are just some of the signs that your dog could be stressed, although different dogs will present anxiety in different ways.

  • Panting
  • Pinned Ears
  • Avoidance
  • Low tail carriage
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Restlessness or Pacing
  • Refusal of food
  • Scratching and over-grooming

And here’s how you can reduce your dog’s anxiety during firework season

  • Keep your dog inside with all doors and windows closed
  • Avoid leaving your dog alone when firework displays are going off outside
  • Set up a ‘safe’ area: a bed or crate with familiar smells, sounds, and toys
  • Take your dog on a long walk during the day so they are more inclined to rest during the evening
  • Put the television on or play music to create a distraction
  • Use a natural calmer such as Pet Remedy to reduce anxiety and stress

Stay calm yourself! Act normally and do NOT give lots of praise. Only praise your dog slightly during calm behavior. This should become a ‘normal’ event in your dog’s life. Loud noises are an everyday occurance. Praising at the wrong time will reward the bad behavior as much as the good behavior…better to not overdo it.

Signs A Dog May Be About To Bite

Signs a Dog Might Bite© Flickr user theaspiringphotographer Signs a Dog Might Bite As much as we love dogs, and we really, really love them, there are some dogs that just don’t love us back sometimes. Be it from stress, fear, or whatever else, sometimes dogs want to lash out, because after all, they are animals. Thanks to Erin Askeland, seasoned dog training and behavior expert at Camp Bow Wow, we have a quick list of signs that a dog is likely to bite. Familiarize yourself with these signs so that if something comes up, you can be ready to back away.

  • Lip licking, yawning, wide eyes, and spiked fur: These are all are indicators of a stressed dog. It is important to always asses the exact situation. If a dog is lying on the couch by itself and licks its lips, most likely it is not stressed. If a dog is being hugged, tugged on, etc. and begins to emit warning signs, this is a clear indicator that he/she is now stressed.
  • Growling and snapping: Never try to get a dog to stop growling; we WANT it to growl, as it lets us know that he/she is uncomfortable. If a dog gets in trouble for growling, it will stop and can immediately go to biting.
  • A stiff wagging tail: A dog that is experiencing stress will wag its tail in a stiff manner (a telltale warning sign that it might bite). Look out for a tail that is pointed high and moves even more quickly back and forth.
  • Averting their gaze: Avoidance behavior indicates that the dog is not comfortable with the particular situation.
  • Cowering or tail tucking: This behavior indicates that a dog is fearful. It doesn’t necessarily mean the dog will bite, but it could if the dog’s fear continues to increase.
  • Backing away or hiding: Whether the dog backs itself into a corner or tries to hide (under a chair, table, bed, crate, etc.), this is a clear indication that the dog is uncomfortable and trying to escape. It is important to leave dogs that are exhibiting this behavior.

Ask The Vet

Dogs Could Come From Two Separate Places

Quincy, the dog, waits while Tammy and Tim Kelly enjoy cupcakes at the Frankenmuth Dog Bowl in Michigan. Two researchers argue that domestication of ancient wolves to modern day dogs happened in both Asia and Europe.© Josie Norris/The Saginaw News, via, via Associated Press Quincy, the dog, waits while Tammy and Tim Kelly enjoy cupcakes at the Frankenmuth Dog Bowl in Michigan. Two researchers argue that domestication of ancient wolves to modern day dogs happened in both Asia and Europe

Scientists have done well in scouring the DNA of humans to track our origins to the African continent.

But the ancient origins of an animal that is an honorary member of many human families has remained in doubt: We still don’t know where dogs came from.

A group of scientists who are in the middle of a grand examination of canine fossils and modern DNA proposed Thursday to turn the whole conversation on its head.

Suppose dogs didn’t evolve in one place, they suggested, but two. What if domestication of ancient wolves happened in both Asia and Europe — different wolves, different people?

Laurent Frantz and Greger Larson of Oxford University and an international team of scientists who are all part of a dog domestication project run out of Oxford, made the new argument in a paper published in the journal Science. They make clear that although they think their explanation best suits the available evidence, more evidence is needed to confirm it.

Scientists who were not part of the study agreed on the need for more evidence.

“It’s an intriguing hypothesis,” Adam Boyko, a canine geneticist at Cornell University, said.

John Novembre, a geneticist at the University of Chicago, described the idea as “very provocative”

“It’s a hypothesis,” was as far as Peter Savolainen, a geneticist at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, would go. Dr. Savolainen has argued strongly, with limited support from other researchers, that dogs originated in East Asia, which, he noted, fits with at least half of the paper’s conclusion.

The notion of a dual origin of dogs is something new for geneticists, but Dr. Larson said archaeologists have long considered the possibility that dogs were domesticated more than once.

Separate domestications have occurred with other animals. Dr. Larson and Keith Dobney of Liverpool University found that wild boars were domesticated twice, once in China and once in Anatolia, part of modern Turkey.

For the new study, Dr. Larson and Dr. Frantz obtained DNA sequences from 59 ancient dogs and a complete genome from a 4,800 year-old-dog fossil found at Newgrange, a well-known archaeological site in County Meath, Ireland. They also analyzed other DNA evidence.

They found a deep split between two groups — modern East Asian dogs and those from the Middle East and Europe.

They calculated mutation rates based on the known age of the Irish dog and considered archaeological evidence of migrations as well.

They said the overall picture could be explained two ways — by dogs originating in East Asia and then migrating west, or by dogs originating in Europe and Asia. They said there was a lack of archaeological evidence for an early, steady spread of dogs from an Eastern origin. And, they said, dog fossils from Europe dating to 15,000 years ago predated known migrations.

So they concluded that dogs most likely originated both in Europe and in Asia. The Asian dogs then migrated with humans to Western Europe and the Middle East.

Although the new explanation may seem to complicate an already tangled discussion, Dr. Larson says it actually clears up confusion by explaining two competing ideas, the western and eastern origins of dogs.

Because of the dog domestication project and other ongoing studies of ancient DNA, this is one scientific dispute that may well be solved.

“It’s really an exciting moment,” said Dr. Savolainen.

We may soon know where dogs come from. But not just yet.

House Breaking

I get a lot of people asking me about house breaking or potty training their puppy or dog.

One couple lived in a house but ‘she’ didn’t want poop all over the yard. I guess picking it up was not an option, I don’t know…I didn’t ask.

Anyway, they have a fenced area within the yard where the dog is expected to go. Ok, if that’s what you want. I told them the way to do this takes quite a bit of patience and time. The dog will do anything you want him to do, if he understands what is expected of him.

This is crucial not only in dog training, but in dealing with other people. If they don’t understand what it is you want from them it will be nearly impossible for them to deliver! Pretty simple.

Again, there is no magic to training a dog. Make sure the dog understands what is expected.

This couple needs to take the dog out to the designated area and wait for the ‘event’ to happen. When it does, slightly praise the dog. Don’t overdue the praising, this shouldn’t be a big deal…after all he’s just going to the bathroom. Then take him back inside.

If he doesn’t do his business within an appropriate amount of time, take him back inside and after awhile, take him out and try again.

I also use a ‘command’ when out with my dog. For example, I use ‘Good Spot’ when Raji is outside and I think it’s time. She associates this term with going to the bathroom and will, if she needs to, do her business.

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Retractable Leashes Are Bad!

You see them all the time, owners walking their dogs with a retractable leash. You know the one that ‘extends’ to around 15 feet.

The idea is to allow your dog the ‘freedom’ to walk where he wants while still keeping him under control.

Here’s the problem…’allow your dog the ‘freedom’ to walk where he wants…’

Remember, dogs need a leader of the pack. They don’t want to be the leader, but will take over that role when no one else does.

Wake Up America!

When the dog is allowed to make decisions on where they will walk, who is leading?