Fireworks Fears and Pets with Dr. Fiia Jokela on WGN Radio


Fireworks and pets is the topic of conversation of this Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show on WGN Radio.

Listen HERE to Dr. Fiia Jokela, owner of Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants and a Resident of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists as she describes how some dogs are merely annoyed by the fireworks sounds, but other dogs are downright terrified, having a panic attack.  “The dogs need our support and there are many ways to do that,” she says.

Doing nothing is not an answer – and my view actually inhumane, when there is so much we can do.

Jokela offers ideas:

  1. What you can do regarding your environment, from closing windows to playing classical music or music specifically for relaxing dogs such as A Sound Beginningicalmpet, or other sites (including many free online) have specially produced music to relax dogs and cats. Of course, you might turn on your favorite talk radio station. If your dog feels most comfortable hiding under a bed or even in a bathtub, let that happen.
  2. How we respond to the dog’s terror matters too, which she explains.
  3. Dr. Jokela explains how behavior modification may help. Even if you adopted your pup after July 4 and have no idea how your dog may respond, she explains you may “vaccinate” your dog against noise phobia by creating a way to positively associate the fireworks with something really good happening.
  4. Any product or drug can be used in conjunction with pheromone therapy. Here’s a nutraceutical that is non-sedating but can help pets to relax:Zylkene. As their website says, helps pets to find their “zen.” Zylkene contains bovine-sourced hydrolyzed milk protein, an ingredient that has been shown to have calming properties. Like great-granny used to say, “If you’re upset, drink a glass of warm milk.” Great-granny was right. Other choices are listed on the Fear Fear Happy Homes website or here.
  5. We also mention a swaddling wearable, like a Thundershirt.
  6. A probiotic called Calming Care  can help too.
  7. For dogs or cats inconsolable when fireworks happen, a true anti anxiety drug will help (However, Dr. Jokela notes there’s one commonly used tranquilizer which doesn’t touch anxiety and she generally advises against that).

Bear Break-In

Does your car insurance cover bear break-ins, and I don’t mean the Chicago Bears.