Along with fun and sun, the summer months also bring with them loud noises such as fireworks, which can cause our pets quite the fright. It’s natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises. The sudden cracks and booms can overload their nervous systems, causing undue anxiety and stress. The experience of fireworks for a dog can be much different than other natural loud noises, like thunder and rain. Fireworks are closer to the ground and accompanied by bright lights and burning smells.
The loud drumming of fireworks can even cause your dog to run away. Keep in mind that fireworks can put your dog into a flight mode, making it even more important to ensure their safety.
Here are some helpful tips to keep your dog calm, making for an easier holiday for the both of you.
It’s a good idea to get your space ready and stock up on certain items a few days before the Fourth, as many neighborhoods shoot off fireworks in the days leading up to the holiday.
The most beneficial way to help your dog during fireworks is to remove them from the situation entirely. Take your dog to a place where there won’t be a loud firework display—a friend’s or relative’s home where your dog is familiar. This is not always a possibility, so it’s important to prep a safe space in your home. Whether it’s a closet or crate, it’s good for dogs to have a go-to place to relax and hide away—much like a den.
Counteract the Noise and Light
During fireworks, turn on the TV, radio, fans or other white noise to help combat the loud sounds. Make sure to keep these noises at a reasonable sound level as to not stress your dog out even further. In addition, draw the curtains to block out the flashes of light.
If you find it necessary to use medication, a thunder shirt or other natural remedies to calm your dog during the fireworks, remember that you must introduce any such items at the right time. This will condition your dog to understand that the medication or thunder shirt is there to bring them to a calm state. This means, introduce the tool before any anxiety begins.
Your dog can read your body language. If you are in a panic, they will likely mirror your feelings and attitude. Send the calming message that there is nothing to worry about will help your dog feel relaxed. Dogs communicate with energy and will look to their pack leader for clues on how they should behave.
- Make sure your dog is wearing their ID tags in case they manage to escape.
- Know when your neighborhood and surrounding areas will be holding their firework displays so you will be ready.
- Take your dog on a long walk before the fireworks begin to help put them in a relaxed state.
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