by Deanna Tolliver, DVM
For many dogs, and their owners, the worst day of the year is coming up: the Fourth of July.
Not because of what it represents, of course, but because of how it’s celebrated in most of the country: the dreaded fireworks.
Many dogs (cats, not so much) are quite fearful of loud noises. For some, it’s fireworks, but for others the fear can also be triggered by thunder, vehicle backfires and construction noise. The technical name for this condition is noise aversion. It can be almost debilitating for some dogs. The symptoms can include:
Some dogs, no matter how big they may be, want to get as close to their owners as possible and try to stay on their laps. A little difficult when your dog weighs 80 pounds!
Many dogs become more fearful of loud noises as they get older. My 13-year-old Chihuahua just started getting rattled by loud noises about a year ago. She shakes and tries to hide when she hears thunder or fireworks.
Well … I don’t have a miracle drug to offer you, but there IS a new medication on the market that may help your dog. It’s called Sileo. It’s an oro-mucosal drug, meaning you apply it to the dog’s gums. You should try to administer it 30-60 minutes before needed, and it can last two to three hours.
If it helps with fireworks, try using it for thunder and at other times when your dog is fearful of noises. Some anecdotal information suggests it may also help with other anxieties, such as traveling.
The drug’s manufacturer, Zoetis, claims that Sileo will calm your dog without sedating it. This IS a prescription drug, so you will need to contact your veterinarian to buy it. Here’s the Sileo website where you can find more information.
I’m curious to see if it helps your dog. Please let me know! (By the way, I am not associated with Zoetis in any way.)