How to Make Fireworks Your Dog’s Friend
New years and the Fourth of July are balls of fun. Although, with fireworks showing up across neighborhoods, your dog may find the event to be much more frightening than enjoyable. In order to put you and your dog at ease during these times of celebration there are some strategies and products you can use to ease the passing of the night. By taking preliminary precautions, you are doing the best you can to keep your dog safe and happy.
Why are Dogs Afraid of Fireworks
Dogs are naturally inclined to be afraid of loud noises. When you hear a loud, unexpected noise – what do you feel in your body? Your heart rate increases, you feel a surge of adrenaline, and there is an increase in your stress hormone response. Dogs feel a very similar experience. Their instincts trigger their nervous systems, and alert them to run for safety. Some dogs are less sensitized to fireworks, including hunting dogs, who become accustomed to the sounds of guns and rifles. Dogs ears are very sensitive to sound. As compared to their daily lives, the sound of fireworks in the distance can be a scary experience for them. Not only do fireworks come with loud booming sounds, but they are accompanied by bright colors and strange burning smells.
Ways to Soothe Your Dog During Fireworks
Remove Visual Stimuli
Decrease the effect of thebright lights from the fireworks by covering the dog’s crate with a light blanket, or by closing the blinds and windows. By decreasing the amount of stimuli your dog must react to it allows your dog to stay calmer in a stressful situation.
Keep in a Small, Enclosed Area Inside
Keep your dog in a small enclosed area can make them feel safer when the fireworks start to boom. Dogs natural reaction is to run to a small, safe space so that they can feel protected in uncertain times. Try a small room, or if trained, you can place your dog in their crate.
Keep Your Dog Occupied
Keep your dog occupied and distracted by providing them their favorite toy, treat, or stuffed animal. This gives the dog the opportunity to chew to relieve stress or simply distract them as the night goes by. A shirt with your scent, or a comfortable stuffed animal can also keep your dog comforted if left alone.
Play soothing spa music for your dog. If someone can’t stay with the dog to comfort them, soothing music may help provide additional comfort in case their stress levels rise. A simple Youtube spa playlist will do! By playing music, you can muffle the loud sounds of the fireworks and create a comforting environment to your dog.
Should I Medicate My Dog?
On July 5th, veterinarians and animal shelters report that they see the most dogs. Veterinarians must treat accidents caused when dogs get hurt running away either outside or into something in the home. Animal shelters must attempt to reconnect the dogs that ran away out of fear with their owners. In the case that these alternatives do not offer your dog enough comfort, medication may be something to discuss with your veterinarian.
Sedation and calming medication or chews can offer your dog quiet relief from their fears to loud fireworks. Although, it may be best to attempt to acclimate your dog to the noise of fireworks using audio online first. With respect to medication, veterinarians may prescribe your dog a tranquilizer. This “solution” has a sedative effect on dogs, but the dog can still see and hear the event. Ultimately, the veterinarian will provide the best option for you and your dog, but trying more natural approaches may be a safer approach initially.
Products to Keep Dogs Calm
Calming Wraps like the Thundershirt
With an 80 percent success rate, calming wraps like the Thundershirt have been used to comfort anxious dogs. Calming wraps for dogs provide constant pressure in a swaddling manner that comforts dogs as you might hold and comfort infants. These calming wraps can also be used in a variety of other situations, like for travel, feelings of over excitement or anxiety, thunder, separation anxiety, vet visits, problematic barking, and high reactivity. Soothe your dog with these easy to use calming wraps.
Create a calming environment for your dog by using dog approved scent therapy similar to this Chamomile Aromatherapy for dogs. These sprays can be placed on a paper towel near the dog’s crate to bring calm to a potentially stressful situation.
A Nice Distraction – A Tasty Treat or New Toy
Combine the tactic of enclosing your dog in a small area with a tasty gourmet treat or new toy. This approach allows your dog to feel safe and cozy while distracted by a tasty new treat. This approach can also help your dog start to associate fireworks with a positive experience.