What human words do your pets respond to?

How Big Is a Pet’s Vocabulary?

The animals in our home seem to catch on to quite a bit of our verbal communication. We know that they read our body language, behavior, and emotions. They pick up mental and visual images. But we’ve been noticing the human language they recognize.

Seems like we’ve heard that dogs have up to about a 300 word vocabulary. Of course, parrots’ vocabulary can be incredible. So we’ve been experimenting with our cocker spaniel Leaf to find out which words have been imprinted on his young brain.

It’s more difficult to figure out with cats. Do they really not know words such as “Don’t scratch that,” and choose, cat-like, to ignore the plea/command? It’s easier to tell what words our bird knows. He says, “Hello,” and “I love you, sweet baby.”

Below are a few of Leaf’s vocabulary achievements.

Popcorn: mentioned at any volume from any part of the house, brings him running

Carrots: see above for popcorn

Banana: see above for popcorn and carrots

Greenie: see above for popcorn, carrots, and banana

Pampered Pooch: his favorite doggy day care center

Dog park: brings him and his orange ball to the back door, fired up and ready to go

Up, up, up: entices him to jump onto the bed for a squeeze, kisses, and a tummy rub.

Tummy, tummy, tummy: elicits a rollover that’s faster than money moving from a 401K to an IRA account

Squeaky toy: causes him to root through his collection for favorite toy of the moment

To be fair he still remembers, sort of, his dog school training commands:

Sit (more like, squat for a second),

Stay (more like, pause),

Shake (more like, wave your paw around),

Down (more like, I’ll think about it and decide if I want to)

What human words do your pets respond to?
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network – Where Pets Are Family

What are your best tips for getting good animal photos?

How do the good animal photographers do it?

This 2009 Holiday season is one of the best times for taking photographs of pets and sending them to friends and family. We have tried to get a good photo of Allen and our dog Leaf. With Linda as the photographer, we didn’t always have the best results.

We have great admiration for good animal photographers. How do they ever get the animal and the person to CALMY and simultaneously look into the camera with pleasant expressions on both of their faces? It’s a mystery to us.

When Leaf looks directly into the camera, the glint of light turns red in his eyes. If he looks at Allen, his cute profile is fun to see. His eyes with their unique expressions, though, aren’t clear in a side view.

One time, after putting up with us trying to get a good photo for about fifteen minutes of hassle, Leaf found a solution. He licked Allen’s nose, then turned, and stuck out his big, pink tongue at the camera. So there!

On the other hand, our cat Cuddles poses like a runway model. She’s the ultimate beauty, posturing for the camera, arching her back, and gazing contentedly toward the lens.

What are your best tips for getting good animal photos?

We wish each of you a happy holiday and a Merry Christmas. Please give the special pets in your life an extra hug and tell them it’s from us. We’d do it in person if we could.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

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What experiences have you had with animals in which they showed you irrefutably that you and the animal had communicated?

Communicating with Animals

How many times have you wished you could communicate with your pet or an animal in nature? It’s a universal wish of animal lovers to exchange thoughts with a creature who means so much to you.

Trained and skillful animal communicators often say that they’re only doing what we all have the capacity to do. Ours is just undeveloped. The average person doesn’t trust or recognize what she or he sees and hears from animals.

Animal communication has always intrigued us. But living with our especially talented communicators — our cocker spaniel Leaf and our wise black-and-white tabby Cuddles — has provided us with a deeper level of understanding this process.

This morning, Leaf made his customary trip to the acres of off-leash dog park near the river where he loves to explore. Allen has many experiences with him there, because Leaf seems to be more of who he truly is in that expansive freedom.

Today, a little boy was teetering like a tightrope walker across a fallen log that hovered above the forested ground below. Leaf typically enjoys performing a balancing act on this type of log — the higher off the ground the better.

Allen said to our daredevil dog, “Why don’t you go and show that little boy how it’s done?”

With his amber eyes Leaf looked up at Allen as if to say, Great idea! He trotted off to the log, leapt on it, and soon was strutting his expertise for the little boy. The child’s parents clapped for Leaf, and the boy giggled.

No one had taught Leaf to obey a command: Show the little boy how it’s done. We don’t think you’d find it in any dog training manuals. But Leaf understands this everyday kind of communication and proved it with his actions, much to everyone’s amazement.

What experiences have you had with pets or animals in nature in which they showed you irrefutably that you and the animal had communicated?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

Autographed Horses with a Mission books are half price. Many of the other Angel Animals books are at a 25% discount only until DECEMBER 14TH. We have limited stock, so order early for these wonderful holiday gifts that will thrill the animal lovers on your list. http://shop.angelanimals.net/main.sc
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter, send a blank message to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com

How do your pets or animals in nature show their independent thinking?

Animals as Independent Thinkers

Anyone who lives with pets or watches animals in nature knows that they are independent thinkers. Animals have their own ways of viewing the world.

Animals make decisions that often are incomprehensible to humans. Yet if we’re observant and reflect upon animals’ choices, we can learn a lot about our own mental, emotional, and spiritual processes.

In our family of animals and humans, we often look at our animal companions and appreciate the friendship, unconditional love, and sense of family that they provide in our home. We’ve made the mistake, at times, of presuming to know their routines, needs, and moods. Humans are funny that way.

But the animals teach us that although they are in our care, their independence and sense of self are totally intact. These traits keep them unpredictable and immensely interesting to live with.

For example, our yellow cockatiel, Sunshine, decides when he is ready to go to the mantel each morning. His flight from the cage to the mantel, where he struts back and forth and looks out the windows on either side, is always on his terms and timetable.

Sunshine regards our act of opening the door to his cage as simply an invitation, not a command performance. When he is ready, he ventures out.

We say, “Sunshine, you’ve been cooped up all night. It is time to fly around.” He ignores human reasoning, though. If we try to assist by offering to give him a finger-ride to the mantel, Sunshine opens his beak threateningly and squawks.

Sunshine is quick to let us know that he’s in charge of the decision about if and when to fly. To us humans, Sunshine’s refusal of instant freedom is illogical. So we’ve settled for labeling our curmudgeon bird’s behavior as “independent thinking.”

As an aside, one of Sunshine’s old tricks, before we had broadband, was to make the sound of uploading AOL on the computer. He would sing every beat of it perfectly. When he sat on Linda’s shoulder in the morning, he’d remind her to check her e-mail by turning on his version of AOL.

How do your pets or animals in nature show their independent thinking?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

Note: Horse with a Mission and Angel Dogs with a Mission are half price at shop.angelanimals.net until December 14th.  Visit www.angelanimals.net for details.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

***To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter send a blank e-mail message to angelanimals-on@mail-list.com. Visit http://archive.mail-list.com/angelanimals to read past Angel Animals newsletters.


When have you noticed animals in nature or your pets displaying a sixth sense?

Animal Sniffers and Sixth Senses

We live in a houseful of sniffers. Anything new, in a different place, or that could possibly be food gets sniffed by our two cats and dog. The bird checks out the new and unusual with his calls and screeches.

As we observe how the animals who share our home carefully inspect and analyze objects with their noses, it’s a reminder that we’re living with a different life form — one that doesn’t approach the world as humans do.

Animals have their own ways of viewing the planet. No matter how hard we might try, we’ll never experience the world as they do. We can’t imagine what we’d understand if we explored life with the noses and licking tongues of dogs and cats, the ultrasound of dolphins, or the pecking of birds.

And then there is the animals’ sixth sense. The mystical, spiritual, extrasensory sense that many of them seem to have in abundance. Anyone who lives with an animal and has an open mind and heart has to admit that there are just some things animals seem to know.

Early on, after we started Angel Animals Network, a reporter from our local newspaper, the MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, came to our house. She was doing a story about this strange couple who were collecting, writing, and publishing stories about the spiritual nature of animals.

The reporter got out her tape recorder and placed it on the table in front of us. Then she proceeded to ask questions. We answered them as honestly and carefully as we could.

Our cockatiel, the yellow, orange-cheeked Sunshine, sat on his perch in the living room where the interview took place. Mostly he remained silent. Occasionally he would join in the conversation with a chirp, a song, or a string of words that were unintelligible to the reporter.

Later, in the article that appeared accompanied by a half-page photo of us walking around Lake Harriet with our yellow Lab Taylor, the reporter commented on an unusual thing she had observed in our home. Listening the tape recording of the interview had been quite a revelation for her.

Every time the reporter asked a question of a spiritual nature, Sunshine seemed to chime in with a comment. Only questions about Spirit, God, or miracles caused him to express an opinion. She was amused but also mystified by Sunshine’s ability to sense when the subject matter had turned to a less mundane or more unearthly topic.

When have you noticed animals in nature or your pets displaying a sixth sense?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

Feast of Saint Francis

Sunday, October 4th, is the celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis, patron saint of animals and ecology. Around the world churches hold a special ceremony called The Blessing of the Animals on or near this day as a way of remembering Saint Francis’s love for all creatures.

To find out where this blessing is being held in your state, if you are in the US, go to www.americancatholic.org/Features/francis/us.asp

The actual blessing below is a lovely celebration of the sacredness in life.

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.”

About ten years ago we went to a local cathedral for the Blessing of the Animals. We wanted to experience it for ourselves. We’ve reprinted an excerpt of how we described the event in our book, ANGEL ANIMALS: Divine Messengers of Miracles.

“Hundreds of dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, iguanas, and ferrets waited inside boxes, sat next to their cherished people, or were draped over human shoulders as the sermons, songs, and barking resonated throughout the massive cathedral.

“To close the church service, a zebra, a falcon, and a camel led the procession down the middle aisle to the front where a minister intoned the liturgy for the Blessing of the Animals.

“After singing hymns and reading the liturgy in the cathedral, all the people and animals walked across the street to Loring Park, where we followed white-robed priests and joined two other churches that had had similar services.

“We walked with our yellow Lab Taylor close behind the priests with hundreds of animals and humans behind us. Smiles on the priests’ faces conveyed their obvious joy and the love they felt at giving a service to the animals in this way. When we arrived in the park, a musical group from Ecuador played wind instruments accompanied by an occasional howling dog.

“The ministers and priests each dispersed to tents with people and animals lining up to receive their blessings. As the priest blessed the dog in front, Taylor scooted out of her collar and ran to where Allen stood, preparing to take her picture.

“He explained to her that the blessing is a special event to honor her and that she might enjoy it. She settled down and returned to where Linda stood in line.

“When it was her turn, Taylor stepped up to the priest, who looked amused. He leaned over and gently touched Taylor’s forehead while offering a blessing that brought tears to Linda’s eyes.

“He said, ‘May the God who made you bless and keep you.’  Taylor solemnly accepted the gift with her eyes wide open and her tongue hanging out.

“As Linda and Taylor left the line, a woman with a thick European accent said, ‘She will always be with you now.’ And so she will. Our love for each other is the forever kind.”

Have you participated in the Blessing of the Animals? What was it like for you and your animal companion?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

HORSES WITH A MISSION was a top 100 bestseller horse book on Amazon.com this week!

LAST DAYS FOR SALE AT ONLINE BOOKSTORE Go to shop.angelanimals.net for a great sale. Both HORSES WITH A MISSION and ANGEL DOGS WITH A MISSION are being offered for 40 percent off this week. The sale ends at midnight Central Time zone, Monday, October 5th. The books will be autographed for you. It’s a great chance to buy gifts for you and your animal loving friends.

The launches for our new book, HORSES WITH A MISSION are on Tuesday, October 6th, 7:30 pm, CDT, at Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Saturday, October 10th, 2:00 p.m. at Borders Books & Music in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Hope to see you there!

Go to www.horseswithamission.com to read excerpts of the book, see video clips of stories, and join in the fun of launching this exciting new book.


Watch and listen to Linda and Allen this week as they talk about HORSES WITH A MISSION and the book launches.

***Animal Wise Radio, Sunday, October 4, 1:20 p.m. Central Time. To listen live in Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, tune to KYCR (AM 1570) or KDWA (AM 1460. Listen streaming or later at www.KDWA.com. Podcast available at www.allpetsradio.com and www.animalwiseradio.com

***KARE 11 (NBC), Showcase Minnesota, Monday, October 5, 10:20 a.m. Central Time. If you miss the show live, you can see it online at www.showcaseminnesota.com/

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

Division of Labor – The Way of the Pet

petspetspetssmallOne of the issues that often irk today’s ultra-busy woman is the need for an equitable division of labor. She longs for her husband and children to do their fair share in keeping the household operating efficiently. She wants coworkers to pitch in at the workplace. Complaints abound when the major part of the responsibility falls on female shoulders.

Our animal family members have wrapped their paws around this prickly issue and come up with their own creative solutions.

We have no idea how the animals, who share our home, have decided what chores they should do or how they’ve figured out which of them should have certain responsibilities. We just know that they do.

The division of labor goes something like this.

Leaf sleeps near the bedroom hallway door if Linda or Allen are out of town, as if he is waiting for them to return. This isn’t where he sleeps at night when his two humans are both home. He is normally on his doggy bed.  He also has ultimate responsibility of keeping watch if Allen is out of town because he becomes the man of the house.

Cuddles, our black kitten with white-mitten paws, is Linda’s guardian angel. Cuddles follows her charge everywhere and won’t even take a nap until she knows exactly where her female human is. Whenever Cuddles sleeps on the bed with Linda she takes on the task of waking her a minute before the alarm rings. She licks her human’s fingers or bites them, if Linda won’t get up right away.

Food preparation comes under the watchful eye of our pudgy, food-loving cat, Speedy and our eager dog, Leaf. What meal would be complete without Speedy rubbing against the chef’s legs and purring his satisfaction and Leaf alert for any escaping pieces of food that might hit the floor?

Sunshine is the household’s watch-bird. If anyone approaches our home, he screeches at the top of his lungs. No one could ever sneak past his watchful vigilance.

There is some silent communication about who is supposed to handle each task, although no visible signs of a household manager. Just a smooth animal operation at the Andersons’ home.

Are pets demonstrating in your home divisions of labor for vital chores, jobs, and power positions?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

* * *
Join Allen & Linda at the Minnesota State Fair

Interview with Sage Lewis, The Creature Teacher! on her radio show The Pet Playground on Sunday, August 30, 2009, 6:00-7:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time at the AM950 KTNF Booth, Minnesota State Fair. Allen and Linda will discuss their new book, HORSES WITH A MISSION: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service. Stop by the booth. Sage will give away a free book. Call in the listener line at 952-946-6205.

* * *
We hope you’ll consider pre-ordering HORSES WITH A MISSION: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service (New World Library, September 1, 2009). It’s available, autographed, at Angel Animals Online Bookstore, www.shop.angelanimals.net, Amazon.com (http://is.gd/2idLM), Barnes & Noble (http://is.gd/2iHQy), Borders Books & Music (http://is.gd/2iHWO), New World Library (http://is.gd/2iI1P) and other online and independent bookstores.

“Through their courage, sensitivity, and kindness, the horses in this book become our inspiration and guides.”
–Michael Mountain, former president of Best Friends Animal Society

Go to www.horseswithamission.com to read excerpts of the book, see video clips of stories, and join in the fun of launching this exciting new book.

* * *
Don’t forget to enter the Dogs and the Women Who Love Them True Story Contest described in the announcement below. We’re looking forward to reading your stories. CONTEST DEADLINE — SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 — IS FAST-APPROACHING.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

Bird and Horse Talk

Sparkle and Sunshine

Sparkle and Sunshine

One of our most beloved pet family members is our bright yellow cockatiel Sunshine. He’s an old-timer who has far outlived the expectancy for this breed of bird. But life has been good, and Sunshine has enjoyed it to the fullest.

Each morning, when we take the cover off his cage, Sunshine shows us his wings. We admire them, and he flaps them like a body-builder showing off his muscles.

We take him out of his cage, and he uses our fingers as a launching pad for a flight to the mantle. There he takes his morning stroll and looks out the adjacent window. He asks, “Are you my sweet baby?” Of course, we respond, “Yes.” Then he says, “I love you, sweet baby.” And we say, “We love you, too.”

He takes a morning bath in a shallow dish with warm water. He has a chat with the outside birds, retuning their whistles and song. Linda often creates a melody for him. He listens carefully and later in the day, will often repeat it with variations he has composed. Or he initiates the songwriting session by whistling a tune that Linda imitates.

We adopted Sunshine with a gray cockatiel Sparkle. Sunshine adored Sparkle. She groomed his feathers and took good care of him for many years. Sweet Sparkle wasn’t as hardy as her more cantankerous mate. One night, after a prolonged illness, Sparkle passed away. Sunshine stood vigil over her, walking round and round her body, wailing (crying) over his loss.

After Sparkle left this physical world, Sunshine would stand on the mantel alone and follow a movement in the air. It was similar to the trajectory Sparkle used to have when she flew around the living room. We suspect that spiritually the part of Sparkle that did not die, the soul, came to visit and comfort Sunshine. After a couple of years he stopped seeing what only he could see.


Recently we read a book about a special bird. We enjoyed tremendously WESLEY THE OWL: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’Brien (Free Press, 2008). It tells about the journey of a rescued barn owl as he and biologist Stacey O’Brien forged a most unusual and satisfying relationship.

Stacey writes, “One evening I was lying down and rubbing him [Wesley] under his wings. Wesley pushed with his feet so that he was lying on my chest with his head up under my chin, his beak sleepily nibbling my throat. Then he rustled a bit and slowly began to open both delicate golden wings, stretching them as far as they would go and laying them across my shoulders. He slept that way for a long time and I stayed awake in awe.

“It was an owl hug. I hoped he would do it again. He did, and this vulnerable position became his new way of cuddling. I never got over the wonder of it and I often felt tears stinging my eyes. This complicated wild soul had stretched his golden wings over me in complete trust. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything in the world. Not for anything in the world.”

Don’t you just love books that make reinforce what you already know — animals are the most gracious of friends?

horseswithmissionWe’d like to share with you a touching moment we just had this week. In our mailbox we found the first author copies from the publication of our new horse book. The stories in this new book take our breath away with their sincerity and strange beauty.

We hope you’ll consider pre-ordering HORSES WITH A MISSION: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service (New World Library, September 1, 2009). It’s available at Amazon.com (http://is.gd/2idLM), Barnes & Noble (http://is.gd/2iHQy), Borders Books & Music (http://is.gd/2iHWO), New World Library (http://is.gd/2iI1P) and other online and independent bookstores.

“With hearts and minds open, we can learn from the wild and domesticated horses in this wonderful book.”
–Joe Camp, author of THE SOUL OF A HORSE and creator of the films starring the canine superstar Benji

“This collection of stories will remind anyone who has ever had a horse as a best friend, confidante, and soul mate of what a special gift that can be.”
–Carson Kressley, Emmy Award-winning TV host, designer, and author of OFF THE CUFF

“You don’t need to be an avid equestrian like me to truly enjoy this book, as the stories resonate with a spirit of hope and harmony that is shared by all creatures great and small.”
–Alison Eastwood, actress, director, and producer

“The spiritual and physical bond between horses and the humans who love them often reaches mystical proportions. Nothing celebrates that very special relationship more movingly or with greater clarity than HORSES WITH A MISSION.”
–Steven D. Price, editor of THE WHOLE HORSE CATALOG

“Through their courage, sensitivity, and kindness, the horses in this book become our inspiration and guides.”
–Michael Mountain, former president of Best Friends Animal Society

“This important book will spark your imagination and inspire you to embrace the magical moments in life that happen every single day. This book is a joy to read.”
–Melanie Sue Bowles, author of HOOF PRINTS and founder of Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

Walking the Dog, Cat, Bird, Ferret, or You Name It

One of the true pleasures of having an animal companion is being out in nature with your pet. We receive letters from people who walk their cats regularly. That’s a sight we haven’t had the pleasure of seeing yet.

We have observed people walking a family of ferrets on leashes. One woman carried her multi-colored bird — squawking and talking — on her shoulder around the lake.

It’s delightful for us to take our cocker spaniel Leaf for walks around the wonderful lakes and ponds here in Minnesota. He picks up what one of our friends calls his “pee-mail” report while sniffing every tree, trashcan, and blade of grass he passes. People stop to pet him. Sometimes, he’s receptive. Other times, he just wants to be left alone to enjoy his communion with nature.

Last week, while we strolled along the path surrounding beautiful Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, we spotted a new addition — the Lake Creature.

Passersby told us that this prehistoric creature was first spotted on July 8, 2009. Fortunately we had brought our camera, so we were able to take pictures.

The Lake Creature is not as scary as the Loch Ness monster but he reminded us that dinosaurs roamed this area millions of years ago. Perhaps the Lake Creature is our own Jurassic Park remnant of that bygone era.

Visit www.angelanimals.net/lakecreature.html to view the pictures. Also visit www.lakecreature.com to read about this interesting and fun Minnesota project that causes lake walkers to do a double take and children to say, “Ooooo!”

What creatures have you seen on your walks with animal companions? What types of unusual pets have you observed people walking?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

Preparing Pets for Fireworks

We asked our Facebook and Twitter friends to tell all of us what they do to prepare pets for fireworks displays. The responses were so helpful that we want to share them with our readers. We are not recommending any of these remedies. You have to use your discretion and do what you think works best for your pets. But people have certainly found some creative and comforting solutions.

Since I am a behavior consultant I’ve outlined a variety of tips for last minute and long term planned strategies in two different articles here: http://budurl.com/SafeSanePetsJuly4th or
–Diana L. Guerrero

How To Keep Pets Safe During Fireworks or Thunderstorms http://blog.animalcommunicating.com/?p=846
–Karen Anderson, Animal Communicator

One of the biggest mistakes pet owners do is “reassure” their pet with soft talk and cuddling. This only reinforces their fear! I’ve always conditioned my dogs to not have fear of loud noises like thunder and fireworks by remaining calm around them and having treats available to reward them so as soon as they hear the sound they associate it with a treat. This is positive reinforcement. never used “coddling” to reassure them, as in this case, is a negative reinforcement.
–Anita Solomon

As a former animal control officer, I always requested that the city post a reminder on the water bills for everyone in the city that our 4th of July impounds were about 30 percent higher than the average day. I advised people to make sure, especially if they were not going to be home, that they secure their animals. I personally use Quiet Moments for my dogs, a herbal sedative available at Petco.
–Shawn Pendell Green

My Clancy is a little Yorkie, and I’ve actually had him with me in a carrier while observing fireworks outside. Of course I never exposed him to excess noise levels by being right up close! But by exposing him to fireworks from when he was a pup, he is oblivious to the noise.

I don’t really go out much, so I will be home. I turn up the fans to high and put on music or a movie and sit with my bunnies, if a close noise is loud, and they get scared. I work at the racetrack, and that is an even harder task to keep the horses calm. You just have to keep an eye on them, close their bottom doors, make sure they have hay to try and occupy them. I don’t like the Fourth for that reason, too many locals with cheap, noisy fireworks.
–Randi Melton

One of us stays home and talks to her and keeps her calm.
–John P. Andolina Jr.

Mine hides in the shower!
–Holly Cook

It’s not easy. Our golden is terrified, but we just keep talking and praising him and of course petting him at all times!
–Maureen Freeman

Keep them inside and turn the TV or radio up and talk to them in a soft voice. Let them know it’s okay, and you are there to protect them.
–Terri Storm

I usually go and hang out with them, give them carrots, and reassure them by talking and explaining what is going on in my horse-talk/whisper way. Since having horses, I don’t really go watch fireworks anymore because of this. My mare is used to the noise and she’s bombproof anyway, but my rescued/adopted ex-racehorse, being a Thoroughbred, isn’t as comfortable, although last year he was okay.
–Teri Rehkopf

My two Jack Russells have no problems with noise of either fireworks or thunder, but my dear “T” who has crossed The Bridge suffered terribly. We found that giving him 25mg of melatonin at least two hours before the noise started, GREATLY alleviated his distress. This medication is available over-the-counter with no prescription. It is a naturally occurring substance and not a drug. Consequently it does not make them “doped up” or have any of the usual tranquilizer side effects.
–Barri Soreil

When we lived in the city, we kept the doors and windows shut and I sat on the floor with my two dogs. Same for Halloween and New Year’s Eve.
–Joy Lemmons

Daisy paces incessantly when they start. Usually I turn on the air and she does very well. Poor girl.
–Mel Freer

Your vet will prescribe a sedative without any questions and trust me it really helps.
–Jake Compton

HomeoPet TFLN Anxiety is a homeopathic remedy for relief from fear of: thunderstorms, fireworks, loud noises, and windstorms. It is a natural, non-sedating, tasteless liquid that really helps my mom’s dog cope with thunderstorms.
–Patti Towhill

When my Pom, Hayley, was alive, we had to get the canine version of Xanax for her. One 4th, we came home to find her hiding in the bathtub and she had pooped EVERYWHERE in it! Not sure how my current dogs handle it, though I think they both sleep through it, if we’re sleeping.
–Jennifer Dunn Walsdorf

Homeopathic Gelsemium is a safe and gentle way to reduce the severity of any fireworks-induced anxiety. Whatever potency you can get will be fine from 6x to 30c. You will be amazed. It also works for trips to the vet or when they know you’ll be gone for a long while.
–Robert Scott Bell

In my neighborhood we keep our pets indoors. My cats are indoors only and still get frightened. I pet them and reassure them that everything is okay. One cat has been scared of thunder and always ran and hid under the bed. He has gradually lost most of his fear at loud noises and starts to run but stops and looks back at me as if to say, “Should I run or stay?” The petting and assurance works fairly well. Frankly, sudden, loud noises make me jump, too!

I’ve never attended public fireworks and festivities, because it seems no matter where we’ve lived there are always neighborhood lunatics who set off what seem to be bombs. It scares the dogs so much, and I’d like to think they feel better with me here. I’m watching my mom’s dog this week and he is very, very uncomfortable.
–Jeannine Mallory

What do you do to prepare your pets for fireworks?