Knowing the upcoming fireworks would have our crew in a tizzy, I began seeking suggestions for ways to calm dogs during stressful times. I was told to put a tiny dab of peppermint oil on the back of Murry's paws during a storm (or other stressful event). He would lick off the oil, which has calming properties, while the process of licking helps distract and calm him.
Unfamiliar with peppermint oil, I mentioned it to my husband. Wondered if it was safe.
"What's the danger?" he asked. "That his breath will be minty?"
Concerned, I researched about the safety of peppermint oil and found an ASPCA warning that large quantities could cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs, but the risks appeared to be small.
Other recommendations include:
Taking your dog for an extra long walk before the fireworks start, since a tired dog is naturally less stressed.
Feeding them a little more than usual shortly before the loud noises begin, as a full stomach tends to make them sleepy and relaxed.
Providing a safe, dark place with music or a fan running.
Making sure your pet has an ID tag in case he races off in fear and gets lost.
Not taking a pet to a fireworks display (or forcing them to go outside during a thunderstorm), thinking it'll help them develop an immunity to their fear. It almost never does.
And making certain outlets have protective covers, and forks are kept out of a terrier's reach.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@gmail.com.