Bark at Me


Pet Expert Q&A
By Donna Chicone 


The 4th of July is a fun holiday to celebrate. However, many dogs do not enjoy the loud noises that accompany fireworks. Dogs can startle and run away. July 4 is the day the most dogs are identified as lost. Some dogs will escape the noise by hiding under beds or a space that feels safe. They may tremble in fear and anxiousness. Thunderstorms any time of year can also be distressing for dogs. 

 Pet Parent Question

“My dog physically shakes and hides under the chair when he hears any loud noise. What can I do to help him?” 

Answer: Many dogs react to loud noises. Close the windows and doors and play soothing music, or watch TV to mask the noise outside. Give your dog a food toy with treats to occupy him. You can purchase a Thundershirt, in most pet stores, that swaddles your dog. 

T-Touch is a form of touch and stroking that can be of comfort. If necessary, contact your veterinarian for help and possible medication. Acknowledging that this is a real issue for your dog and doing what you can to help him is the most important thing.


Bathing and grooming our dogs can be costly, but it is important for their overall health. Dogs need their ears cleaned and nails trimmed regularly. If a dog does not shed, it means he has hair (not fur), and if the hair is not washed and brushed it will matt and cause discomfort. If a dog sheds, regular grooming with designated products can help reduce shedding. 

Bathing a dog outside with cold water from the hose is not a good idea. Use warm water and only shampoo products designed for dogs.


Pet Parent Question:

“I know my dog needs a bath, but how often should I bathe him?”

Answer: You can determine how often to groom your dog with input from your groomer and your pocketbook. Every 4 to 6 weeks is a good starting frequency.

Most dogs do not like to be bathed. Try to make it a fun experience for your dog. Be sure to rinse thoroughly so soap does not build up on the skin and cause itchiness. Dogs can air-dry in warmer weather. Those with hair should be dried with a doggie dryer so their hair does not mat. 

Reward your dog with a fun treat for being a good dog during his bath. A clean dog often means a happy pet parent.

Woofs & Smiles!  

Donna Chicone is an award-winning author, TEDx speaker and advocate for dogs. She is a former nurse, family and addictions counselor, 23-year corporate America professional, and host of Jazz and Jive’s TV Show. She is a devoted pet parent to her two Portuguese water dogs, Jazz and Jive, and is an advocate for the humane treatment of animals. She lives in Minnesota with her husband. When she is not writing or speaking about dogs, she’s engaged in pet assisted therapy work and K9 Nosework with Jazz and Jive.