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Holly Santana

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Dogs and Fireworks: A Safety Guide

Holly Santana, CPDT-KA, provides help for the 4th of July holiday. With the upcoming patriotic celebrations, dogs across the country will react with fear and anxiety to the fireworks and loud noises. “The noise of fireworks can be extremely stressful for dogs,” says Holly Santana, an associate of the International Association of Canine Professionals. She recommends these strategies for Westchester’s dog owners, to help them through the first week of July.

Croton on Hudson, NY, July 04, 2012 --( 1. Do Notbring your dog with you to a fireworks celebration.

2. Do provide your dog with a safe, comfortable place that will help her feel more secure amid the scary sights and sounds. Close the blinds to keep out the flashes of color in the sky, and turn up the television or some music to help muffle the sounds.

3. Do consider giving your dog a highly valued chew toy before the fireworks celebration begins, which may help to keep her mind off the disturbance.

4. Do ask your veterinarian if an herbal remedy or prescription sedative may be appropriate for your dog.

5. Do attach a “house leash” to your dog, to act as an extra long handle, should your dog try to escape or run away.

6. Do ensure your dog is wearing proper identification in case he manages to escape."More dogs escape during holiday celebrations than at any other time," says Holly Santana. "With a little preparation and an understanding of how to help dogs through their fears, dog owners can help prevent their pet from becoming a statistic this 4th of July."

7. Do act as normal and as "matter of fact" as possible, to help your dog understand that there is nothing to worry about. Don’t be tempted to "baby" your dog if he is afraid. Dogs take their cue of how to behave from their owners; if you are acting "strange" by offering soothing words and gestures, your dog may interpret your actions as praise for being frightened, or as confirmation that the fireworks are truly scary.

8. Do contact a trainer beforehand to counter condition your dog to loud, unexpected noises. This will help you with fireworks, thunderstorms or any unpredictable noise. Training can help your dog learn to recover quicker quickly, and builds confidence in shy or anxious dogs.

Holly Santana, CPDT-KA, is a respected trainer in the Westchester area. Hundreds of dog owners have been satisfied with Holly’s training for over a decade. Her knowledgeable approach and positive philosophy make dog training easy for both novice and experienced dog owners. She offers a variety of group classes at a local dog daycare, addresses behavioral issues in private homes and councils new puppy owners. Holly Santana is associated with the International Association of Canine Professionals, a group of trainers, veterinarians, kennel operators, dog walkers, retailers, and other professionals dedicated to the well being of dogs. With an IACP member, you know you're in Safe Hands. Visit the IACP website at

If you would like to speak to Holly Santana about the preparing dogs for summer holidays, please contact her at or by phone at 917-379-2993.
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