Through a Dog's Ear
4th of July: Keep Your Dog Safe
Calming Methods: They Work!
Join Our Mailing List
Fan us on Facebook
Alex and Ty
Imagine leaving your house and your dog gets really comfortable and goes sleepy until you come home. Check out this great CD proven to help chill out your dog
Alex and Ty

Have You Heard?
Grotto Communications

If you want a beautiful web-site, or any marketing for your business, great communications with your web master and creative graphic design,
 Call Kim at Grotto.
Kaiya closeup

If you can't decide between a Shepherd, a Setter or a Poodle, get them all
... adopt a mutt!



Issue: Nine
June 2010
kona's touch
Happy SummerHappy Solstice

Well June seems to be here, in fact it's almost over. This is our ninth newsletter which comes out the third week of every month. kona's touch, inc. is pleased to be looking forward to good health and good cheer for the summer and staying as cool as possible. Small plastic swimming pools are a hot canine's "5 bone" delight. They are going on sale now, as summer is almost over in the retail world. If your pooch is hot, cool him off. Important reading this month on 4th of July safety and keeping your dog calm through the excitement of summer holidays. Stay cool and as always


Be gentle, after all isn't that what you would want for your best friend,
Laura Dorfman, CPDT-KA
Owner and Founder
Loose Leash Talking

Alex and Ty4th of July:
Keep Your Dog Safe

Fireworks are not always where we think they will be. Find out if neighbors are going to shoot off fireworks or even just firecrackers at their homes. Even then you can't always be sure that kids won't blow off a few firecrackers as they're hanging out or just walking past your house. Do your outside errands during the days before the 4th so you can be around the house once the noise starts.
If you have a new dog or puppy in your house, assess him and the environment before you go out and leave your puppy struggle through the fireworks alone. A dog that is scared of thunder may also be afraid of fireworks. It's like a major storm that you already know is going to happen. Take advantage of the advance notice and if you need to, stay home. Fireworks happen every year and it's important to know what is going to happen with your dog. Know what's going on at home before you go out and enjoy yourself while your dog is home terrified. Put on the camcorder so you know what's happening. If you have to go away, and your dog is acting "strangely" or "differently", you'll know why from the video. If he's not OK and you must go to the holiday celebration, make arrangements for Fido with a pet sitter or friend. If your dog is fine and could care less, go out next year and every year after that knowing that Fido is home and sleeping without a care in the world.

See more of this article: 4th of July Keep Your Dog Safe

Healin' News
Alex and TyCalming Down Fido For The Fourth

Trying to determine "how serious" and "how stressful" fireworks (thunderstorms, or any excess noises) are for your pet is the hard part. If your dog is severely affected by fireworks and the commotion of the 4th weekend, he may need medication. Shaking uncontrollably, drooling, vocalizing, shutting down, urinating and defecating in the house, and other unusual, extreme behaviors, may be associated with fear. If you can't determine your dog's level of stress yourself, video tape your dog and/or have an animal behaviorist, trainer or vet see your dog's response. If the symptoms are severe there are medications that work very well for relief of temporary events.

There are many different calming methods for animals and they work well when used mindfully and with care. As with all living beings, not everything works with everybody. For instance, lavender is a calming agent for almost all people and dogs, but for a few it can have the opposite effect. I've seen dogs turn on the "speed machine" when lavender is used The same is true for prescription drugs. Of course it's always important to monitor your dog when he is taking any prescription drugs or alternative remedies.

Lets talk about some specific calming ideas.  For the sake of the newsletter we will concentrate on fireworks and fears of loud noises.
The first thing I like to recommend to clients when there is a "disconnect of any sort" with their dog is Comfort Zone DAP. DAP stands for Dog Appeasing Pheromone. It is an odorless (to humans) scent that mimics the nursing mother's scent that she omits to comfort her puppies. It is not specific to noise stress. It is very successful with all situations of stress and many people have used it with great results. For more information, visit the Pet Comfort Zone.

There are many excellent brands of animal specific flower essences that can help calm a stressed animal. Rescue Remedy is usually the first choice for stress and it is very good. There may be others that are noise specific that are different with each brand. Some of the ones I know and use are:
There are also some items for your dog to wear that can help with anxiety from noise issues. The Thundershirt is a wrap for your dog similar to the "swaddle" effect for a baby. It works very well with some dogs and definitely worth a try Thundershirt. There's also a body wrap explanation from the wonderful people at TTouch which could be a great assistance in helping your dog with fear. TTouch

Aromatherapy is also used with animals and very successful in calming our pet's woes. Many scents are used in stress reduction and lavender leads the list in calming scents for canine, feline and human alike.

Last, but definitely not least, is behavior work for your stressed or scared dog. if your dog is not "over the top" freaked out, you can work with him and try to recondition the effect fireworks have on him, or storms in general if that is involved. If your dog is just a "little freaked" try to work with him to distract from the noise. Get his favorite food, toy or games and try to engage him in a round of fun, fun, fun to go with the noise. Or as we always say at kona's touch, " a little cuddle on the couch, can be just what the little dog needs".

Happy 4th, however you spend it.
kona's touch offers positive dog and puppy training or consultation for Chicago's North Shore. Our positive training and consultations help you and your dog to create a respectful, loving relationship.
At kona's touch, we use peaceful clicker training techniques based on scientific knowledge and years of experience in canine behavior for fun family dog training. For dog training or your personal consultation, call 847-204-7100 or email me at


Laura Dorfman, CPDT-KA
kona's touch, inc.