Thursday, November 17, 2016

Is Your Pet Stressed? How To Recognize Stress In Your Pet

Stress in pets is more common than you may realize.

The good news is there is a lot you can do to reduce your pet's stress.


Stress has become an accepted part of our daily lives, whether we like it or not. The holiday season can be a time of joy and it can increase feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Your animal family can experience stress and anxiety more often than you may realize. Stress, if left unchecked, can negatively impact your pet's behavior, health and overall quality of life. 

My dog Bodhi demonstrates 2 signs of stress:
lip licking and yawning

Animals prefer to live in a peaceful, calm environments. Given the choice, healthy pets will remove themselves from the source of their anxiety, like moving to another room, hiding in a closet or going outside. If your pet feels unheard, it’s possible that she will act out on her anxiety by chewing paws or growling.

If you are feeling anxious, there is a good likelihood your pet will take on your stressful feelings to help you feel better. Why? Pets are incredibly sensitive to the energy in their environment whether it's joy, peace, anxiety or stress. Plus they don't like it when their humans suffer.

As a pet parent, it’s important to figure out why your pet feels stressed-out. Then it's up to you to provide your animal family with balanced and peaceful solutions like daily exercise, socialization, and play. 

When an animal's early warning signs of stress are ignored or missed, some animals become frustrated which may lead to growling or even worse, biting. Of course, most pets prefer your guidance and help long before they hit their "breaking point."



Animals use a variety of physical gestures or body language to communicate stress and anxiety. 


11  Signs of Stress in Pets:

  1. Excessive panting, even when it's not hot;
  2. Tail between hind legs;
  3. Excessive whining or other types of vocalization;
  4. Constant lip licking and/or excessive yawning;
  5. Excessive scratching, paw licking/sucking and over-grooming;
  6. Restless pacing and can't settle down;
  7. Hiding behind and under furniture or in closets;
  8. Decreased appetite, or refusal to eat their food especially special treats;
  9. Peeing/pooping in irregular locations like in the house or out of the litter box;
  10. Clingy and not wanting to leave your side or lap;
  11. Excessive Shedding.
If your pet is exhibiting any of the above physical gestures including stress colitis, contact your veterinarian to make sure your pet isn't ill.

Experiencing stress and anxiety doesn't feel good to pets, so it's best to alleviate the cause of their stress as soon as you can. It's up to you to learn how to read your animal companion's body language to determine your pet's state of mind. 


3 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Pet's Stress:

  • Regular exercise and play can help your pet release excess energy and stress. These daily rituals also build confidence in your pet. Walking and playing with your animal family is a great way to reduce stress for you, too.
  • Animals do understand the reasons behind their behaviors. Like humans, animals appreciate it when they feel heard and validated. If you feel your pet is stressed, but not sure why, then contact an Animal Communicator like myself, so I can give you insight as to the source of your pet's stress and how best to alleviate it. 
  • Animal Reiki naturally alleviates stress in animals. An Animal Reiki treatment gently releases energetic blockages and imbalances while your pet is in a deep, relaxed space. 


Monday, October 31, 2016

Scientific Study Proves Dogs Know What Humans Are Telling Them

As an Animal Communicator, my practice is based on the knowledge that animals understand humans' words and intonations.  It's validating when science validates what I've intuitively known. 


The Family Dog Project. located in Budapest, Hungary recently released a scientific study that shows how a dog's brain responds to human speech and understand what the tone of your voice is communicating.

Scientists used dogs trained to lie still in a MRI machine so their brains could be studied while responding to human words and the intonation of those words. The study concluded that dogs and humans use the same part of the brain to process speech and speech recognition.

According to Science News, "Dogs process speech much like people do, a new study finds. Meaningful words like “good boy” activate the left side of a dog’s brain regardless of the tone of voice used, while a region on the right side of the brain responds to intonation."

This video from the Family Dog Project explains how dogs respond to human speech and speech recognition.



The scientists behind this study also conclude that other animals, like cats, understand humans in the same way as dogs do. 


So the next time you strike up a conversation with your pets, keep in mind that they know what you are saying and understand what the tone of your voice is conveying.  


Friday, October 7, 2016

Miracle Siamese Cat Returns After Disappearing for 12 Days

It still feels surreal, and a lot like a miracle, that my 15 year old Siamese cat, Elvis, vanished into thin air a few weeks ago, only to return inexplicably 12 days later. One minute he was in the house, and the next minute, Elvis had left the building. This was odd, given that Elvis is an indoor-only cat.


The day before he disappeared, Elvis communicated telepathically that he “would be leaving me soon.” I was startled and concerned. Leaving me? What was Elvis talking about? Unfortunately, he didn’t elaborate.


Elvis
I wasn’t sensing that Elvis was ready to transition, although he hadn’t been feeling well recently, due to a spate of vomiting up hairballs. In an ongoing effort to keep the formation of hairballs to a minimum, I brush his beautiful, medium dense coat daily. In all other aspects of his health, he seemed fine. I told Elvis he was going to be fine, kissed his adorable face, and went on with my day, pushing his cryptic message out of my mind.
The next morning, Elvis and his kitty sister, Mona Marie, ate their breakfast and then headed off for their morning nap. I went on with my day, which included going out for a couple of hours, returning a little after noon. When I walked in the front door, I didn’t see either cat, which was not unusual, since Mona and Elvis love to catnap.


In the late afternoon, my dog, Bodhi Bear and I went out for an event. Upon our return, Mona was sitting on her cat tree demanding supper. Elvis was a no show, which at the time, didn’t strike me as odd, because he sometimes waits until I’m ready for bed to ask for his dinner.


As I cleaned up after my dinner, I realized I hadn’t seen Elvis since breakfast. I immediately called out to him verbally and telepathically. In that moment, I felt intuitively that Elvis was not in the house or even outside of the house.


Telepathically, Elvis wasn’t responding. This was highly unusual because Elvis and I share a strong, loving bond with excellent telepathic communication. Plus, he’s a typical Siamese with a distinctive, loud meow. For Elvis to be non-communicative as well as MIA for his supper, something had to be terribly wrong.


I remembered Elvis’ cryptic message, which started to weigh heavily on my heart and mind. I had a sick feeling in my gut that I might not ever see my boy again. It was a scary thought that I couldn’t fathom at the time. I began looking for him.


When I tuned into my intuitive self, I felt strongly that Elvis was alive and possibly trapped somewhere nearby; perhaps in a garage, a couple of houses away.  It was the only logical explanation for him not returning home. Yet, without finding Elvis, I had no positive way to know his location.


Elvis and Mona Mare
At this point, it was about 4 am. It was too early to call for help so I decided to send Reiki in hopes it would help Elvis find his way home, dispelling any obstacles in his path. I continued sending Reiki throughout the ordeal, knowing Reiki could help Elvis in ways I never could.


At first light, I got the word out about Elvis’ disappearance. I texted family, friends and neighbors to let them know that Elvis was missing. Within a few short hours, my neighbors knew Elvis was missing.


I knew there are a number of things I needed to do quickly when an animal goes missing. Besides calling my family, friends and neighbors, I made posters that were immediately hung in the neighborhood, local veterinarian offices and pet hospitals. My neighbors looked in their homes, garages, backyards and around the general neighborhood numerous times. Still, there was no sign of my little Siamese.


A missing animal report was filed at the local animal shelter. Friends continued to monitor the shelter while he was missing. Thank goodness, he had a microchip, in case someone brought him to the animal shelter or animal hospital. His microchip gave me some peace of mind.

A neighbor posted Elvis’ disappearance on www.nextdoor.com. I posted Elvis’ disappearance on Fido Alert and www.TabbyTracker.com. My Facebook friends shared Elvis’ information and sent prayers. I believe in the power of prayers and have no doubt, that their prayers would help Elvis no matter where he was.

I never posted on Craig’s list feeling strongly that Elvis was not far away or was with another family. Elvis is a loving and affectionate cat with me, a true “Mama's boy.” Yet, he is a shy cat around people. My gut told me that Elvis was not with another family, which brought me back to the idea that he was trapped somewhere close by.


Me and Elvis
I reached out to two other Animal Communicators, including my Animal Communication mentor. Like me, they received similar information from Elvis, confirming that he was hunkered down somewhere close by and would be home, if he was able to extricate himself. He didn’t reveal his location to them, either.

Throughout the ordeal, Mona Marie spent a lot of time sitting on the master bedroom windowsill, staring at the house two doors away. I asked Mona if she knew where Elvis was. She said he was close by and that asked him to come home. Mona was incredibly supportive and loving, which I appreciated and needed.


After being gone for six long and horrific days, my Animal Communicator mentor felt Elvis might have transitioned, but didn’t know for sure, which I understood. The reason why it’s hard for Animal

Communicators to know if an animal is alive or dead is that animals (and humans, too) are Spirit that then animates a physical body. Communicating telepathically with an animal can feel virtually the same whether the animal is alive or not. Therefore, it’s impossible to know if an animal has died; the only sure way to know is to find the animal. Most Animal Communicators, like myself, don’t take on missing animal cases because of this aspect of telepathic communication.


While Elvis was missing, my emotions went up and down like the worst roller coaster ride
imaginable. Was he alive? Was he dead? Where is his body? Some moments, I was able to remain grounded, knowing that frantic energy can negatively impact a missing animal. Other times, I cried like a baby at the thought that I’d never see my boy again.


With each passing day, it seemed inconceivable that a fifteen year old cat could survive without
food and water for so long. The weather was hot and dry with several days reaching 100+ degree temperatures. My neighbors and I continued to search the neighborhood for Elvis. My friends, including my wonderful Facebook friends, whose ongoing support boosted my morale with their kind words and prayers.


By day eleven, I couldn’t look any more. I had to let go of knowing if Elvis was going to come home. I felt completely out of balance not knowing if he was alive or dead. One part of me needed to know what had happened and the other part wanted to trust in my intuition that he was trapped close by. I found the more desperate I felt, the more anxious I became. I had to let go of the outcome. My mind needed to take a break, to allow my heart and intuition to take over, once again.


I came to acceptance that Elvis is his own being with a mind of his own. If he needed to leave the house or his body, there was nothing I could do. Elvis' chose to go on a “walkabout.” If he was trapped, I prayed he'd be released. If he had transitioned, I hoped he left quickly and painlessly.


Although I let go of the outcome, I couldn’t let go of the possibility that Elvis might still come home. I continued to send Reiki and stay open for a miracle.


On Monday, twelve unimaginable days after Elvis went missing, I greeted the day as best as I
could. I leashed up Bodhi for our morning walk and exited out my front door, telling myself I
had to move forward with life without Elvis.


Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little Siamese kitty body running towards my neighbor's backyard. OMG! Is that Elvis? 


It was Elvis! At that moment, I became a believer in miracles!

"There Is No Place Like Home"


Once in the house, Elvis immediately climbed his cat tree and demanded food. Poor baby was
starving. Elvis then proceeded to wolf down three huge bowls of food and drank lots of water.
He then looked at up at me with his beautiful blue eyes and said, “There is no place like home!”


Where were you, Elvis? I asked. He said, “I was trapped behind boxes in the garage a couple
houses away. Once I got out from under the boxes, I had to wait for the garage door to open. Once it opened, I high-tailed it home and waited for you.”


Besides losing a couple of pounds, I noticed his claws had been worn down on all his paws,
indicating that he had tried very hard to get free. Otherwise, Elvis was in good spirits and grateful to be home. Me, too!


Mona on the other hand, was not pleased when she first saw Elvis. She hissed loudly at him
and said he smelled funny. She also reprimanded him for leaving the house and for being gone so long. It took her a few days to fully accept him again. This surprised me since they’ve known
each other since they were two months old.


I tried not to be upset with myself for Elvis’ disappearance which, in hindsight, was something I
had no control over. Elvis was determined to leave. There was nothing I could have done to
stop my Siamese friend from going on his “walkabout.” It seems like something was calling him to leave the house.


Me, Elvis and Bodhi
It was heartbreaking thinking that Elvis wanted to leave me and his body without being by his side. At one point, when I felt he may have transitioned, I felt devastated by his decision, it didn’t make sense to me. If it was his time to transition, I didn’t want him to be alone, I wanted to support him. But it wasn’t my choice to make. It was Elvis’.


I have a new appreciation for missing animals. In my experience, missing animals are rarely about the animal, but about how we respond when our beloved friends can’t be found. It’s easy to forget that animals have their own personal choices, spiritual paths and agendas that many times have nothing to do with the people they love.


I learned a lot about my amazing community both locally and virtually. My wonderful family,
friends, neighbors and Facebook friends supported me throughout the long ordeal and kept me
afloat when I felt like I was drowning in sadness.


One thing I know for sure is that we will never know what truly happened to Elvis on his walkabout.
For all I know, Elvis may have transitioned and was “called back” to his body to live out his life with me by some magical force in the Universe.

No matter what happened, I’m ecstatic that a miracle occurred and Elvis is home safe and sound.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Celebrating Pets' Birthdays and Gotcha Days

If you're anything like me, than you enjoy celebrating your pet's birthdays. I also like to celebrate "Gotcha Day," which is the day I brought my two cats, Mona Marie and Elvis, home from the animal shelter. Coincidently, Bodhi Bear came home on the exact same date as the cats, albeit 12 years later.

Every year, I let my animal family know how much I love them by celebrating these important milestones with them. Bodhi likes to celebrate with his friends. Mona and Elvis prefer low-key affairs with cat nip, special treats and ear scratches.

This year, I threw Bodhi Bear two parties to celebrate his 3rd Birthday because he has a lot friends. Bodhi invited some of his girlfriends to the first of two Birthday Parties: Sabrina Renee the Golden Retriever; Gigi and Ruby, the King Charles Cavaliers; and Greta and Tonksky, the German Shepherds. Bodhi is quite a popular pup with the ladies.

Pupcakes for Bodhi Bear and his Girlfriends

Sabrina Renee's mom baked these Pupcakes especially for Bodhi's 3rd Birthday party. As you can imagine, the pupcakes disappeared quickly. Now that I think about it, so did the cupcakes!

Bodhi's birthday party, part duex, happened the weekend after his actually birthday. He wanted to celebrate with his dear friends, Eli and Harvey. The 3 dogs together are affectionately known as "The Keesateers."




My friend, Sharon Hill, is an event planner (www.sharonhillevents.com) who loves to throw birthday parties for her Golden Retrievers. First she threw parties for Abby, who is now In Spirit. Her current Golden, Sabrina Renee, recently celebrated her 10th Birthday in my backyard with a few close friends. Bodhi enjoyed having his friends around and eating cake. He especially enjoyed the "Hot Dog Drop!"

In this video, Sabrina Renee enjoys unwrapping her many gifts with a little help from her friends. Keep watching to see Sabrina's gifts. 



Sabrina shows off her gifts while Greta the Shepard eats a bone.
Elvis watches the birthday festivities from a safe distance

Join the party! In this video, Bodhi, Greta the Shepherd and Birthday Girl, Sabrina Renee enjoy eating birthday cake.


Do you celebrate your pet's birthdays or Gotcha days? If so, I'd love to hear what you like to do for your family. 



Monday, July 11, 2016

Reiki Helps Dog with Cancer

Reiki helped Australian Shepherd, Sparky, cope and deal with life-threatening Lymphoma. 


A few years ago, when my Animal Reiki teacher, Kathleen Prasad, put out the call for stories to include in her book about how Reiki helps dogs, I jumped at the opportunity to share Sparky's story. 

Now In Spirit, Sparky taught me about the power of Reiki especially when it comes to helping dogs and other pets with cancer.

Here is Sparky's story that appeared in Kathleen's book, 
Reiki for Dogs: Using Spiritual Energy to Heal and Vitalize Man's Best Friend

Sparky, a sweet, shy and loving Australian Shepherd, holds a special place in my heart. I've known him since he was rescued by his person, Barbara, seven years ago. Sadly, Sparky was diagnosed with lymphoma last summer. His body is riddled with lumps of various sizes and shapes with the largest mass located under his right shoulder. The two tumors under his jaw clearly affected the quality of his life since they made eating difficult and painful.

At the time of Sparky's diagnosis, Barbara felt chemotherapy and radiation were not the right option, especially since it meant frequent visits to the vets, which would create a lot of stress for Sparky. So Barbara decided to let Sparky live out his life with minimal medical intervention. She felt in-home Reiki treatments for Sparky were a good idea since she had good results using Reiki to help her other Aussie, Duke, now In Spirit, when he was suffering with a chronic lung infection. 

Sparky’s first Reiki treatment lasted a little over an hour. A bit nervous at first, Sparky walked in and out of my space throughout his treatment. It was clear by his actions that he recognized Reiki and liked how it felt. By the end of the treatment, Sparky seemed more relaxed. Barbara and I discussed doing follow up Reiki treatments combined with Animal Communication to support Sparky despite his lymphoma.

Later in the day, Barbara emailed me the following, “We all drank a ton of water and then slept for a couple hours after you left. Funny how that happens! Sparky's lumps are all very noticeably smaller. He seems perkier, but also more relaxed, if that makes sense. I think we all just plain feel better. The dogs gobbled up their dinner tonight, and played together after :-) Thank you, thank you.”

Two months later, Barbara called me to schedule Sparky's second Reiki treatment. She said she didn't call earlier for a follow up treatment because Sparky’s quality of life had gotten significantly better after his initial treatment. Barbara reported that the lumps in Sparky’s jaw were approximately 75% smaller in size and his energy level, along with his appetite, went way up. Plus the large lump on his shoulder was significantly smaller and less painful. 
Sparky

Since Barbara noticed that the lumps under Sparky’s jaw and on his shoulder had become enlarged again, she felt another Reiki treatment was indicated. Shortly after I arrived at Barbara's house, Sparky, who is generally hesitant about being touched, made it clear that he wanted me to start his treatment immediately. Once I initiated the Reiki, Sparky immediately placed his right shoulder directly into my hands. He sat with me for quite awhile before he would get up and walk around for a few minutes. He'd then return a few minutes later placing his shoulder into my hands again. 

This treatment last about an hour. Once Sparky felt complete, he drank some water and asked to go outside to relieve himself. Once he did his "business," there was a clear spring in his step as he initiated play with his younger sister, Delilah, a Bull Mastiff teenager. 

Shortly after Sparky's second treatment, he showed signs of improvement again. He easily made the move from California to his new home in Oregon. He is currently enjoying his life with his family on their new ranch. While Barbara doesn't know how long Sparky will be with her, she is enjoying every day with her special boy. She says it helps her knowing that Reiki and Animal Communication are always there to support her and Sparky.

According to Prasad, the lesson learned from Sparky's case is: "No Condition Is Too Big for Reiki to Help."

Is your pet sick? Animal Reiki can help. While Reiki is never a replacement for veterinary care, it can help your pet's quality of life. For more info, visit my website or email me

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Dog Friendships In The Circle of Life

3 years ago yesterday, I said goodbye to my dear friend and heart dog, Kobe Bear. 


Despite being able to communicate with him telepathically, I continue to miss my Puff Doggy terribly. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him or talk with him. 


Kobe Bear
The only good thing that came from his passing is finding my current Keeshond, Bodhi Bear. I'm grateful Bodhi arrived 3 weeks later because he saved my heart which was shattered into a million pieces.

Sabrina Renee with Kobe Bear
Kobe Bear enjoyed hanging out with his many girlfriends. When Sabrina's predecessor, Abby, passed on, Kobe immediately befriended baby Sabrina Renee. They instantly became good friends.

When Kobe transitioned, Sabrina befriended Bodhi Bear as soon as they met. They continue to be good friends.

Kobe Bear and MacGuyver
The same thing happened with MacGuyver the Puggle. Kobe and Mac were DFFs* and adored each other. When Kobe passed, Mac and I cried together as our hearts were sad and heavy without our puffy friend.

Baby Bodhi communicating with MacGuyver

When Bodhi arrived as a baby Puff, Mac befriended Bodhi, despite not being too fond of puppies. It was clear to me that Mac knew Bodhi was coming.


Life goes on . . .


Thursday, June 30, 2016

9 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe and Calm on 4th of July Weekend

Did you know more pets go missing over the July 4th weekend than at any other time of year?


Celebrating the 4th of July with its loud pyrotechnics and fireworks displays may be fun for humans, but it can scare and disorient your pet in a matter of seconds, causing them to flee from the safety of their homes and go missing.

Historically, July 5th is the busiest day at Animal Shelters in the U.S.A. 

Why? Animals become anxious when they hear loud noises and see bright flashing lights. Their instincts tell them to run as fast and far away as possible to escape the source of their discomfort and anxiety. Throughout the Independence Day weekend, your pets will hear noises you might not hear or even be aware of because of their sensitive ears and nervous systems.

Here are some physical signs of anxiety and stress in pets:

  • Panting
  • Pinned Ears
  • Tail Between Legs
  • Excessive Vocalization
  • Licking lips
  • Yawning
  • Restless Pacing and Can't Settle Down
  • Refuses Food and Treats
  • Excessive Scratching, Paw Licking and Over-Grooming
Once an animal becomes frantic, it's difficult for them to calm down. It's better for them, and you, to prevent your pet from becoming distressed in the first place. Once in the "red zone," your pet can no longer hear you. Instead, their panic drives them to find a safe place. That's why they hide under furniture or try to escape their backyards and homes in by whatever means possible. 

Kobe Bear 

Kobe Bear hated fireworks and loud noises.

My second Keeshond, Kobe Bear, now In Spirit, became extremely anxious during the 4th of July celebrations. It didn't help the fireworks could be seen and heard from every room in my house.

The first year I had Kobe Bear, I had no idea how upset he would get from fireworks given that my previous dog had no problems with loud noises. Kobe Bear, on the other hand, melted down with intense fear and became frantic.

One year, Kobe tried to jump out of a window when the fireworks display began attempting to escape the scary noises and lights that he didn't understand. Despite closing the windows and blinds, keeping him in a back bedroom, feeding him delicious treats and playing music, Kobe could still feel the vibrations the pyrotechnics created.

Unfortunately, Kobe Bear's terror didn't end when the fireworks ended because people in my neighborhood continued to set off firecrackers throughout the night. He trembled and barked every time he heard a loud noise. Despite my best attempts to calm and communicate with him, Kobe suffered terribly. In hind sight, I should have considered medicating him to alleviate his suffering.


It's key to communicate with your pets
 to help them cope with fireworks


I like this video from PETA because it shows, from a dog's perspective, how quickly a dog can spook and run from fireworks and firecrackers with potentially life threatening consequences.


A large number of pets end up in the Vet ER during the Independence Day holiday

During the 4th of July holiday; large influxes of pets go to the Vet ER for ingesting inappropriate picnic and BBQ foods such as hot dogs and fatty meats. 

Even ingesting a corn cob can make your dog very sick. It's best to avoid these types of foods to keep your pet from getting gastric upset and going to the ER.

If you are having a party, it's better for your animal family if they are kept away from the noise and potential danger of eating the wrong foods.

Pets also visit the ER because they burn their paws on hot pavement or become dehydrate and overheated from the mid-Summer heat.


9 Tips to keep your pets calm and safe:


Tip #1: Your pet's ID is their ticket home. If you do nothing else, put a collar with current ID tags securely on your pet at the start of the holiday weekend. ID Tags are the quickest and easiest way for your pet to be returned to you if they go missing. Make sure your information on the ID Tags is current and remember to include your cell number.

If you have a horse, you may want to place a safety or breakaway halter on them with your current contact information. This way, your horse is wearing her ticket home just in case she spooks and runs away.

Use ID tags in addition to microchipping your pet. It's important to microchip your pet especially if they end up in an Animal Shelter.

If your pet isn't microchipped already, talk to your veterinarian about getting your pet microchipped. It's a good time to double check that your microchip information is up-to-date.

Remember, your pet's ID Tags are their ticket home if they go missing.


Tip #2: Never use fireworks around your dog or other pets. The noise will spook them with an excellent chance they may run away and go missing. Fireworks can easily burn the fur on an animal so it's best to keep them away from this type of hazard.

Tip #3: Exercise reduces your pet's stressOn high stress days, like the 4th of July, it's an excellent idea to give your animals their exercise early in the day, so that they can be tired when they begin to feel like their world is crashing in on them. A tired animal will cope and deal with the loud noises a lot better then a pet who has too much energy. 

Also, take your dog out for a long walk and potty right before the start of the fireworks displays, which will help them sleep. Taking your pets out during the fireworks display or later, when random firecrackers are set off, will greatly increase the chances of your pet going missing. 

Tip #4: Leave your pets safely secured inside your home. Put your pets in a quiet "safe room" where they can't accidentally escape. Having a "safe room" will help reduce their stress.

Cats are amazing escape artists. Put cats, including outdoor cats, in their "safe room" with their litter box and fresh water.

You may think it's fun to bring your dog to fairs, holiday celebrations and fireworks shows, but I promise you, it's no fun for your dog. In fact, it can be a scary experience and they will be happier if they stay home. Also, keep in mind that dogs can quickly burn their paws on hot pavement. It may not feel hot to you, because you're wearing shoes.

Tip #5: Stay home with your animal friends. Be a calming influence for your pets especially if they feel like their world is crashing down around them. Many animals have told me they cope better when their person is with them. Otherwise, they say, its overwhelming to deal with loud, thunderous noises that might swallow them up or even worse, hurt them, without their person to protect them.

Tip #6: Decrease visual stimulation. Bright, flashing lights can upset animals, sometimes to the point where they will jump out of a 2nd story window. Draw the curtains and close the windows and blinds. If need be, put your dog in his crate and place a towel over it. 

Tip #7: Sound therapy is a helpful tool for your dog or cat. Playing music from Through a Dog's Ear and Through a Cat's Ear can help to desensitize and relax your pet. I used to play Through A Dog's Ear music for Kobe Bear on the 4th of July and New Year's Eve to minimize his stress. Click here for FREE SAMPLES, so you can choose what music is best for your animal family.

Relax Your Dog YouTube Channel plays calming music for your pets as well. In general, simple classical music is the best music to play as it's soothing for both animal and human.

Tip #8: Distract and redirect your pet's focus using chew toys, playing games and offering them treats as a reward for ignoring the booming explosions.

Chewing reduces a dog's stress.  Give your dog something fun and safe to chew on like a frozen Kong filled with deliciousness like chicken or peanut butter to keep your dog occupied while reducing their stress.

Playing with your cat reduces their stress. Grab their favorite toy and have fun.

Tip #9: Talk to your vet. Your veterinarian should be one of your best resources to help your pet through the holiday weekend. If you've tried the above suggestions and your pet still suffers anxiety during fireworks, it may be time to discuss medication options to ease their anxiety. Never give your pet any form of medication without consulting your vet first as they have serious side-effects. I feel medication should be your last resort option if your dog is like Kobe Bear.