Solutions for Pets Afraid of Fireworks; Small Scale Reptile Rescue Needs Your Help


TERRIFIED of fireworks – so many pets are. What do you do? Well, hopefully, you begin now, rather than wait until July 3 or July 4.  Dr. Jennifer Styrsky of CEVA Animal Health and I offer tips HERE on my WGN Radio show, Steve Dale’s Pet World.

We talk about jollying dogs by putting them in a room where noise won’t be heard as much, playing soothing music (or a certain talk radio station in the background) and try distraction with play and/or food. This really can work for dogs with somewhat mild fear, and when people aren’t there provide food puzzles for pets to work at. Through the Fear Free initiative, we know that when pets are busy enjoying  treats or working at getting treat out of a food puzzle or if they’re playing fetch, they’re not simultaneously terrified. Learn more at Fear Free Happy Homes about de-stressing our pets at any time of the year.

To lower fear, anxiety and stress a notch – pheromone products such as Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats can help a lot. And Dr. Styrsky explains why and how these products work. There’s no downside to or adverse affects of using pheromone products (but not just any pheromone products, you also don’t want to waste money).

We didn’t have time to talk about desensitization and counter-conditioning or training a pet to not be bothered so much by fireworks. For many pets, this is possible to achieve since we are now a couple of weeks before July 4, which I explain in this column.

Cindy Steinle of Small Scale Reptile Rescue has a large scale problem, with hundreds of reptiles in here care. This really is an animal welfare emergency.

A sexual predator was arrested for his offenses, but had over 160 snakes  and many lizards and some frogs too, the animals had no other caretaker and were confiscated.

Also, a person with mental illness who had over 100 leopard geckoes. All these animals have done nothing wrong. They all now need of homes. Please consider helping this rescue with a large scale problem, as they need to have resources to pay for these critters, and are seeking to find good homes. Please help to spread the word. HERE are more details. Or email:

I also mention my recent conversation with famed primatologist Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas about the plight of orangutans on my WGNPlus podcast Steve Dale’s Other World.