Fireworks can be very scary for dogs. They can find the loud, unpredictable noise and bright displays of light truly frightening. Here are a few things to consider, to assist your pack through the festivities.
1. Desensitize Your Dog to the Sound of Fireworks:
– play a video or recording of fireworks. Start with the sound on low, and increase on subsequent playbacks. If your pup becomes agitated, turn the volume down and gradually start over. Repeat as necessary.
– try playing the recoding during activities your dog enjoys, such as treats, cuddle time, play time, etc.
2. Ease Their Fears:
– don’t change your behavior. Petting more than usual, cuddling, baby talk just reinforces the dog’s fearful behavior.
– try not to react to the fireworks. Your body language can tell a dog there is reason to be afraid.
– turn on the television or radio, to drown out the sound of the fireworks. If weather permits, a fan or AC unit can help too.
– if your pup needs to hide in his crate or under a bed, let them be. This is their comfort zone, so do not feel the need to remove them and make them more fearful. A fearful dog is more likely to bite, out of desperation to get away.
3. Dealing with a Severe Fear of Fireworks:
– talk to your veterinarian, as medication may be needed for anti-anxiety.
– work with a trainer or behaviorist, for future firework seasons, to help ease your pups through the stressful time.