Support System

Who doesn’t like to have a friend along when facing a frightening situation? Dogs are no different. They are better equipped to face their fears in the presence of a friend, and that friend’s company can make them less likely to panic during scary circumstances.

Whether your dog’s best friend is a person—you!—or another dog or cat, having that support buddy at hand can make all the difference in how your dog responds to a veterinary visit, grooming appointment, or simply being home during an event such as a thunderstorm.

Sometimes, though, it’s not always possible to provide a dog with a canine or feline buddy or to be at home with him all the time. Here are some tips on ways to ensure that your fearful dog doesn’t have to go it alone, even if you are away from the house.

  • Recruit trusted pet professionals, family members, and friends to supervise or check in on your pet while you’re away.
  • Sociable dogs may benefit from doggy daycare or overnight boarding during times that your home will be noisy, such as construction, tree-trimming or trash-pickup day. It’s a bonus if the facility is located in an area where fireworks are banned or has a sound-insulated play area. Double bonus if employees are Fear Free certified!
  • Remote pet monitors are another way to keep tabs on your dog and even communicate with him if you aren’t home. Or go old school and leave voice mail messages for him a couple of times during the day.
  • Provide the sound of human voices by leaving the television on. Food or home décor channels are good choices because they provide normal sounds of home and are unlikely to produce sounds that might agitate your dog.
  • Finally, while it’s not a person or another pet, an interactive toy such as a food puzzle can help keep your dog’s brain occupied so he’s not focused on your absence or on whatever’s going on around him.