If you’ve ever watched your dog cower in fear at the sound of fireworks, chances are you felt helpless to ease her distress. You might have tried to soothe him by putting on music or turning on the TV as white noise, but unfortunately, some dogs are just so sensitive that they can’t help but get frightened.
The first step is to understand why fireworks scare dogs so much: it’s primarily the loud noises and bright lights of the fireworks display that frighten them, but smoke and other scents detectable only by their sensitive noses can also be detected and contribute to their anxiety.
So what can we do to minimize our pets’ pain and suffering? Is there anything we should avoid doing altogether? Yes! In this article I’ll share some tips and tricks for keeping your pet calm during a frightening event like this one.
Keep your dog inside during fireworks shows
If you want to keep your dog safe and sound during fireworks, the best thing you can do is to keep him inside. This will help ensure he doesn’t get lost or hurt by fireworks, as well as prevent any potential injuries from occurring. It’s important for dogs to be able to hear their owners when they are outside, so if a dog is indoors, it’s easier for pet parents to keep an eye on them.
If your dog does run out of the house after hearing the fireworks go off, try not to panic! Contact local shelters and animal control officers immediately once you notice that your canine is missing (this should also happen if one of these organizations finds your pooch).
Try playing a calming music for dogs
If you have a dog that’s afraid of fireworks, try playing calming music. It may be hard to find the right type of music, but it can help your dog relax and feel more comfortable. There are many types of music that are proven to calm dogs, and some of them even have special effects for dogs. If you have an owner in your life whose favorite genre is Celtic folk or rap metal, they might know what kind of songs work well on their furry pals!
Try listening to calming music together with your pet – this will help both of you relax and feel at ease during an otherwise stressful weekend (or week).
Ensure your pet has proper identification
Having a microchip is the best way to ensure you’re easily able to locate your pet should it get lost. If your dog is afraid of fireworks and you don’t have a microchip, consider getting one as soon as possible. Make sure you register the chip with an online database like HomeAgain or 24PetWatch so that if your pet ever does run away, you can easily find them again!
If your dog gets lost, make sure you have an ID tag on their collar for easy identification. Most shelters and vets will scan these tags using a high-frequency scanner to pick up the unique number encoded into each chip.
Use a DAP collar and products containing DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) and/or Adaptil collars and products containing DAP.
If you want to make your dog as comfortable as possible, you can try using a DAP collar. In addition to being a good choice for fireworks anxiety, these collars are also helpful in the event of thunderstorms and other loud noises that frighten dogs.
While there are many products on the market containing DAP (dog appeasing pheromone), Adaptil collars and products containing DAP offer something special: they release the smell of this pheromone into your home to help prevent separation anxiety in dogs.
Give your dog lots of exercise before the show.
Exercise can help relieve stress and tension, which is why it’s a good idea to give your dog plenty of exercise before the fireworks begin. Dogs who are hyperactive and anxious may benefit from exercise even more than those who aren’t easily stressed out by loud noises. Exercising also helps with depression and boredom, two conditions that can lead to destructive behavior like chewing on furniture or digging holes in the yard. Additionally, exercising regularly can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight so that your body isn’t as taxed by the stress hormones associated with fear of fireworks.
Stay calm through fireworks displays
- Stay calm. It’s natural to get a little nervous before fireworks start, but try not to let your own nerves show. Your dog will pick up on your emotions, so if you seem relaxed and happy, chances are good that he or she will feel the same way.
- Make sure your dog is calm. If your pup gets excited in anticipation of the noise, it can make fireworks night worse—not better—for both of you! Try some of these techniques:
- Use a low voice when talking to or about them (or even just nearby). If they’re used to being talked down to due to their size and cuteness factor, this might help them feel more secure when the big boom comes around.
- Give treats once a day starting two weeks before New Year’s Eve and leading up until the fourth of July weekend (or whichever holiday is closest). This should help keep them occupied during those long stretches between firework shows and also make it harder for them not only survive but thrive despite all odds stacked against them
Distract your dog from the fireworks noise.
- Give your dog a treat.
- Play a game with them.
- Have a toy that they can chew on.
- Give them a chew treat, bone or stuffed toy.
Make sure you have to preventative measures in place for stress, including teaching your dog that the fireworks are not worth getting stressed over and rewarding them with treats when they stay calm.
In order to help your dog get used to fireworks, you’ll want to start by teaching them that loud noises are not something to be afraid of. This can be done through helping them associate these sounds with things they like, such as treats or toys.
Start by playing with your dog at a time when there is no loud noise going on around you. Once they’re enjoying playing with you and the room has become silent, give them their favorite toy so they have something else to focus on besides the fireworks outside. When it’s time for the next round of fireworks (or if there isn’t much between rounds), give him another treat or toy as a reward for being calm during the last set of explosions and continue this process throughout the night until he becomes comfortable with what’s going on outside his window.
Hopefully, this guide has given you some new ideas to try when it comes to helping your dog overcome their fear of fireworks. Even if none of these work for you perfectly, we’re confident that a combination of these strategies will help keep your pup safe and stress-free. And remember—if nothing else works, the best thing you can do is just be there for them during those stressful times. They’ll appreciate your company, and it could make all the difference in the world!