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Keeping Your Greyhound Calm During Fireworks And Thunderstorms

Is your greyhound afraid of fireworks or thunderstorms? NOW is the time to contact your veterinarian, prepare your yard, and your home! Whether you decide to use drugs and/or natural remedies, it’s best to start using these products early, before fireworks or thunderstorms really get going.

Disclaimer: This article provides non-professional advice and comes from personal experiences. Every situation is unique, and it will most likely take trial-and-error and a different combination of remedies for each greyhound. No compensation is received from the products or vendors listed in this article. Please seek your veterinarian’s advice for what is best for your unique situation.

Ask Your Vet Which Medication Would Work Best for Your Greyhound

If your vet hasn’t seen your dog recently, an appointment may be required before dispensing prescription calming medications.

Prescription Medications to Discuss with Your Vet:

  • Trazodone – greyhound dose ranges 25-100 mg and lasts 4-6 hours.
  • Valium.
  • Xanax (generic Alprozolam).
  • Sileo – this is a gel you squirt into the mouth (FDA Approved for pets with noise aversion), lasts 2-3 hours, give 30-60 minutes before a storm or fireworks.
  • Clomicalm (generic Anafranil) – it can take several weeks to be effective.

ABSOLUTELY DO NOT GIVE “ACE” (short for Acepromazine)!!! While your dog may look sedated, they will still react to the noise event but are still paralyzed in fear.

Other Products to Consider:

Check with your vet to ensure none of them conflict with any medications your dog currently takes AND that the dosage listed are correct for your dog.

  • Benedryl (generic Diphenhydramine) – 25 mg per 25 lbs. Avoid any version with Xylitol listed in the ingredients!
  • Melatonin – 1-4mg for a weight of between 26-100 lbs, start with a lower-end dose.
  • L-Theanine – 100 mg twice daily.
  • Zylkene.
  • PROGILITY Calming Aid Soft Chews by Nootie.
  • VetriScience Composure Chews.
  • VetriScience Composure Max liquid.
  • Canna-Pet® CBD drops.
  • Bach’s Rescue Remedy.
  • Pheromone-releasing products can be used to calm a stressed dog. They come in a variety of forms and can be found at pet stores or online:
    • Adaptil
    • ComfortZone Thunder Ease
    • DAP diffuser

A note about essential oils:

Some OTC and MLM essential oils can be dangerous for your dog. Do your research before using. The only brand I recommend was developed by veterinarian Melissa Shelton DVM. She treats zoo and domestic animals with oils she formulated for each species and condition to be treated. Dr Shelton’s products are safe for dogs, cats, fish, birds, all the way up to elephants. She has lectured at NC State Vet School. Her blended product called “CALM-a-MILE” (diffusible or RTU versions) are suggested for fireworks, thunderstorms, and anxiety. Order online at https://animaleo.info/. You may also find similar products from a local holistic veterinarian.

Other Options:

  • Loud music.
  • Provide a safe place – a closet, crate, bathroom.
  • Cotton in the ears held on with an Ace bandage wrap or snood.
  • Thundershirt®, a snug tee shirt, or an Ace bandage wrap (not tight).
  • Coddling your dog – some say it helps, some say it reinforces the fear.

 Prepare Your Greyhound, Home, and Yard:

  • Check your property – is your fence secure, are your gates locked?
  • Front door safety – make sure family and visitors keep that door shut.
  • Is your dog’s microchip registry verified to be up to date with your current contact information? You can use a central registry like FreePetChipRegistry.com or PetLink.net (There is a one-time fee for each dog you add.)
  • Keep a tag collar on your greyhound at all times.
  • Is the martingale correctly fit? If your dog tries to back out of it, pull the leash downward. Martingales made only with fabric (no added webbing inside) can loosen over time because the hardware can slip.
  • Put your dog in a safe room but do not shut the door – use a baby gate
  • Articles on helping your dog with fireworks:

A Few Mote Tips:

  • Close the windows and lower the blinds to minimize the noises and lights.
  • Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise before the noises starts.
  • Avoid leash-walking in the evening and at night. Would you rather have your greyhound potty in the house or get spooked and run?
  • Do leash-walk your dog IN your backyard. If frightened enough your dog may jump a fence, even if they’ve never done so before.

The scariest part of dealing with fireworks and thunderstorms is that you can never predict when they will happen. Fireworks won’t just be on the 4th of July or New Year’s; it’s happening throughout the year and beyond holidays. The best you can do is know what works for your greyhound, always be prepared, and hope the loud noises stop quickly!

Article contributed by Ducky McC. Download the PDF.

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