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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, due to weather and weird timing and work stuff, I'm home with Willow this 4th of July (rather than camping far away from loud noises). Personal fireworks are allowed here, plus at dark (which isn't til around 10:30pm) there'll be a big commercial show about 2 miles away but still well within earshot.

I've tried to prep as best I could by taking Willow for a 2-hour hike this afternoon, and giving her a dose of trazodone/gabapentin with her dinner at 4pm. The fireworks have been going off pretty much nonstop all day, nothing too loud but certainly loud enough to bother her (and by people right across the street).

I would love any advice on how to handle Willow for the rest of the night. Her reaction to the fireworks isn't as bad as others I've heard of, but she definitely doesn't like them. She usually retreats to the basement bedroom and hides under the bed. It's been bad enough before that she'll pant and tremble, but generally she just lies there looking sad. So now, it's been almost 3 hours since I gave her the drugs, she's been in and out of the basement. She's definitely droopy and drowsy but keeps coming back upstairs every so often, I have no idea why...to check on me? But then she'll just keep looking sad and go back down into the basement. I have a box fan going on down there for some white noise.

The fireworks or only going to get worse as the evening progresses. Do you think it'd be better for me to put her in her crate, in my (upstairs) bedroom closet, and just let her stay in there for the rest of the night, with the knowledge she can't leave and keep popping in and out to worry about me? Could her freedom down there be keeping the drugs from taking full effect? I also admit I worry a bit about her going up and down the stairs if she's drugged. So far she hasn't had a problem. If I put her in her crate, I'll turn on a box fan in there and also put my clock radio on. Just don't know if that'd be better than the basement or not.

I'm trying not to coddle her, but it's also kind of annoying and I'd like to know I'm doing the best I can for her so that I can relax a little (I mean, as much as I can in the midst of constant explosions).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also the drugs were given to me sort of under the table by my vet friend last year. She wrote on the bags to give 1 gabapentin and 3-4 trazodone "as needed" but no indication of frequency. I gave her 1 gabapentin and 2 trazodones. Internet says those drugs can cause sedation for up to 24 hours. So I'm hesitant to re-dose her but maybe I should up the trazodone??
 

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Charlie (DOB 11/24/20)
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Id put her in her crate as far away from noise as possible, put a blanket over top, and turn a TV or a fan on, that way she's not going up and down and has a safe dark space to relax. If she likes her crate that is, my fearful dogs consider their crate a safe space so that's what works best for them.

or what Zeppy suggested, staying down there with her
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I personally turn the radio on for the night and either myself or my partner will sleep downstairs on the couch with the dogs.

Maybe you can stay in the basement with Willow for the night?
Id put her in her crate as far away from noise as possible, put a blanket over top, and turn a TV or a fan on, that way she's not going up and down and has a safe dark space to relax. If she likes her crate that is, my fearful dogs consider their crate a safe space so that's what works best for them.

or what Zeppy suggested, staying down there with her
Yeah I was probably gonna do that anyway, that's what we usually do when fireworks are going on. She just doesn't have a crate down there and she does like her crate generally. And the crate is so big I'm not sure I feel like moving it. I'm also not 100% convinced the basement is actually any quieter than my bedroom.
 

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Yeah I was probably gonna do that anyway, that's what we usually do when fireworks are going on. She just doesn't have a crate down there and she does like her crate generally. And the crate is so big I'm not sure I feel like moving it. I'm also not 100% convinced the basement is actually any quieter than my bedroom.
It might be helpful to follow her lead, if she is drugged and scared. I would have a movie night with her in the basement ❤🍿
 

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Charlie (DOB 11/24/20)
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Yeah I was probably gonna do that anyway, that's what we usually do when fireworks are going on. She just doesn't have a crate down there and she does like her crate generally. And the crate is so big I'm not sure I feel like moving it. I'm also not 100% convinced the basement is actually any quieter than my bedroom.
Ah then I think what Zeppy said may be better for you, maybe she'll feel better with you down there

"mom, are you coming or not?!?!! the fireworks are gonna get you!!!"
 

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I‘m so sorry you all have such noise around the holiday. That is unbelievably stupid and thoughtless. We have fire dangers and fireworks are illegal so we just don’t hear them much. Maybe a few minutes at midnight on New Years but not so much this week. Take care and keep your sweet girl calm and safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I decided to take her out on her VERY BRIEF evening pee walk and get that overwith (no chance she'll pee on her own in the backyard with all this noise). She did okay with most of the fireworks going off, the bottle rockets and stuff.

Then NATURALLY just as we are 2 blocks away from home, some huge jerkwad (man I wish this site didn't censor right now) decided to set off SIX of the major loud boomer fireworks. The ones that don't do anything other than make an insanely loud, deep, earth-shaking bang. Like literally right in front of us. Willow cowered and dragged me over to hide under a truck. (I of course leashed her for this walk, the only time she ever needs a leash.) I goaded her home, she's "happily" hiding under the basement bed again, and OF COURSE those boomer fireworks are over for now.

It's like they waited for us. Frickin A. I hate fireworks. Hate hate hate. There is 0 reason for them, and I'm pretty sure like 80% of people who live in places where they're legal, hate them. I get freedom, okay? I like freedom. But just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD.

And those loud boomer things should just be outlawed.
 

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Rosie 01/04/2021 GSDxHuskyxAkita
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Trazadone and gabapentin is pretty powerful stuff for people, so I imagine it's fairly strong for a dog. In my experience working with people/clients on both of those drugs, you probably don't need to give her more unless she is bugging out hard. Also, I don't think freedom in space is going to affect the pharmacological efficacy of those drugs due to how strong they are. She might be stumbly due to the trazodone, in people it's called the trazodone shuffle.

We have found a product called Happy Traveler with valerian, tryptophan, st johns wart, and chamomile to work better with Rosie for anxieties than anything else. Took a 5 hour drive in loud, bouncy van today on windy mountain roads and she was aces. no whining, no drooling, hopped right in and out of the van on every stop. had plenty of energy on hikes but was able to stay calm in the rig. She is a dog that hasn't traditionally done well on the road, let alone my Vanagon.

Might be worth checking out for future things. I hope tonight is ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ah then I think what Zeppy said may be better for you, maybe she'll feel better with you down there

"mom, are you coming or not?!?!! the fireworks are gonna get you!!!"
yeah I know I just honestly hate it down there. The TV down there isn't "smart" and doesn't get streaming services. I set it up a couple years ago before I had air conditioning installed in the house, for super hot days when the basement was the only livable room. There's no bathroom down there either. I did set up an old DVD player and I got a Rick Steves DVD playing down there for her, in addition to the box fan. I had been holding on to this old Radio Shack AM/FM radio for like...literally 25 years and I dug it out and turned it on BUT it's broken. So hopefully Rick Steve's golden voice is soothing her a little. I think he's in Prague right now...

I'll come down there in a couple hours when it's time for bed.
 

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We had such a terrible time with Ellie. I did not know dogs could suffer from PTSD but they can. Really makes me feel for any human who suffers from it. She was the dog who during a thunderstorm tried to go up the stairs from the side and got her head stuck between the spindles. It was terrible for her. The vet gave us sedatives but all she did was stumble around in a stoned panic instead of an unstoned panic. We tried most everything else then hit on running a noisy movie that had lots of explosions in it. The floor normally shook during action movies and the noise part of it so she wasn't bothered by it. We used Independence Day and Total Recall. You can keep replaying the noisiest scenes. At first we gave her a sedative with her dinner, but later tried it without the sedative and she did alright. She was getting to the age where we did not want to sedate her. The other problem we had with her was her fear of going outside, she could smell the gunpowder. She held it from dinner until the next day, her choice, we tried to get her out but the noise had her terrified. Our little girl had a terrible time, her life before us must have been very difficult but she was with us 10 years. Ellie:
Dog Snow Dog breed Carnivore Fawn
 

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Duke and Elke are the opposite. Elke just ignores it and runs out and runs in. Duke lays on the floor and - without even lifting his head - barks at the boom. It seems to be the dog equivalent of 'annoying stupid humans'.
 

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I'd do what was suggested, sleep downstairs with some white noise. Download a movie on your laptop. If the basement is where she's more comfortable, be there.

My dogs aren't bothered by fireworks but don't care where they sleep as long as I'm there
 

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Noise fears are real. A friend lost a GSD when they were gone on the 4th and their dog jumped through a living room window, ran into the street all cut and bleeding and then got hit by a car. Your basement bunker may not be inviting but you are lucky to have a safe spot where she can hide out safely with you.

I would be so angry at the person with the firecrackers. I wonder if anyone who sets them off even knows the reason they are doing it. I went to school with some siblings who each had no fingers on one hand due to firecrackers their dad brought back from Mexico.

Oops. I reread my post and it sounds so negative. Sorry. I’m venting for you. I’m also bored because our local plans got cancelled.
 

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I'm late to the party but this what I do with the one dog that is afraid of gun shots and fireworks. Take her out to pee at 9:45 before they get going. Get snacks and a movie all set for me,give her a favorite chew so she can settle by my feet and feel safe.If she leans against my leg after one of those really loud bangs,a chin scratch or a neck massage. I never talk or even look at her.We've only had her for three years so each year is a little better. than the last.Tonight only one chin scratch was called for:)
 

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Nadja- AKA the BooRoo
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Nadja and Chief are fine with loud noises and fireworks but Mia isn’t. For her we put her in her crate and cover it with a blanket with some white noise if she’s having an especially hard time.
 

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Despite the illegality of it, my neighborhood sounds as if several full shows are going on at once, for several hours. The smoke of it hangs in the air. Thankfully, Kairos is more interested in the ones she can see. Her eyes follow the bright lights. The rest of the time she pounces on bugs. However, my elder dog (now deaf to the world) used to hate fireworks. She developed a tendency to run to the garage, so each year she was preemptively exercised and then sequestered in the garage. I would sit with her for some of it, but chose not to use drugs in her case.

How did everyone else’s dogs do?
 

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Fern GSD 5yrs, Chloe the Cat
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Fern did ok. She acts very calm but tries to "hide". She will walk up to a piece of furniture and try to go under it. If she can't she will stare at it then meander around for the next hiding spot. I got her a braided bully stick and distracted her with treats. I ended up crating her at the worst of it. It's loud enough where you can see flashes in the house and makes you involuntarily flinch.

I took Fern to pee but a skunk was across the street. It started sprinting toward me and Fern. That was the scariest part of the evening.
 

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Fern did ok. She acts very calm but tries to "hide". She will walk up to a piece of furniture and try to go under it. If she can't she will stare at it then meander around for the next hiding spot. I got her a braided bully stick and distracted her with treats. I ended up crating her at the worst of it. It's loud enough where you can see flashes in the house and makes you involuntarily flinch.

I took Fern to pee but a skunk was across the street. It started sprinting toward me and Fern. That was the scariest part of the evening.
Poor Fern😕 I always told myself I can blame the dog for flinching when I’m flinching myself. Some of those fireworks are LOUD.

That’s a bold skunk 😬
 
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