The sound of fireworks can be terrifying for many dogs. If your dog is afraid of fireworks, you are not alone. Many dogs become agitated and anxious during celebrations each year like New Year, Diwali, and Christmas. As of now, the festival season started it’s an opportune time to learn how to keep our furry companions at ease.
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The good news is that there are ways to help keep your dog calm during this time. In this blog post, we will discuss 9 tips to help keep your furry friend at ease and by your side throughout the holiday season!
How to help Dogs scared of Fireworks?
Dogs get scared during fireworks and it can be really hard to keep them calm.
It’s estimated that more than 40% of dogs show signs of fear during these events, which can include cowering, whining, salivating, or trying to escape.
Some dogs will run away, some will hide, and some will even become aggressive.
Dogs who are prone to anxiety should never be brought to fireworks displays, but even those staying home can be negatively affected by the noise. If you live in an area where neighbors also set off fireworks, it’s especially important to help your dog to cope with it.
If you’re looking for ways to help your dog cope with the stress of fireworks, look no further. We’ve gathered a list of 9 tips that might be helpful, whether you’re wanting to train in advance or need ideas for the moment, we have got you covered.
9Tips to Calm Your Dog During Fireworks
A) Take an early morning stroll
Ever seen anybody bursting crackers early in the morning? Probably not. This gives you the chance to take your pet for a peaceful stroll. Try to get your pet used to this, several days before the festival so as not to disrupt their routine. A morning walk will help drain your dog’s energy so that it can relax and sleep better at night.
B) Keep yourself cool and relax
Our pets are sensitive and aware of our emotions. They pick up on our energies and reciprocate the same way. It’s critical to remain stress-free and calm to make your pets feel at ease. When your pet is becoming agitated over loud noises, don’t try and cuddle with them or give them extra attention; instead, pretend everything is normal.
If your dog sees that you’re not fazed by fireworks, this may help reduce their stress.
C) Turn up the tunes
Playing music can help to muffle the sound of fireworks for your dog. It also has the added benefit of helping to keep you calm! Choose soothing, mellow tunes that won’t startle your pet and keep the volume at a moderate level.
D) Build a “Haven”
You can help your furry friend feel more secure by creating a little safe space for them. This could be in the form of a dog crate, or simply blocking off an area of the house with baby gates. Put their favorite toys, treats, and blankets inside to make it as comfortable as possible. This will be their go-to spot whenever they feel scared or need some alone time.
E) Desensitize with training
If you’re wanting to get your dog used to the sound of fireworks in advance, there are a few things you can do. You can start by playing recordings of fireworks at a very low volume while your dog is eating their favorite treat.
Gradually increase the volume over time as they get more comfortable. You can also pair the sound of fireworks with positive experiences, such as going for a walk or playing fetch. This training helps the dog to get familiarized with the sounds before the actual event.
F) Stick to their regular diet
Experiencing sudden excitement in dogs can lead to stomach problems or activate previously dormant illnesses. Because of this, it’s always a good idea not to change your diet during this period. If they are already on a special diet, don’t change anything and continue feeding them at their regular meal times. You wouldn’t want to add to the stress by changing their diet at such a stressful moment.
G) Don’t leave them alone
Dogs that are left home alone during fireworks displays can become extremely anxious. If possible, try to be with your pet during this time or have someone stay with them who can keep them calm. If you must leave them alone, make sure they have a safe space to go to and that someone can check on them regularly.
H) Anti-anxiety Ear-muffs and Anxiety Wraps
If you’re looking for a quick fix, there are now earmuffs designed specifically for dogs! They work by blocking out the noise of fireworks and can help your pet to feel more relaxed.
Anxiety wraps are another good option. They are mainly fabric wraps that provide mild pressure to your dog’s body and are a great way to help them relax. These are based on the idea that swaddling a terrified animal calms its worries, so they may help to lower heart rate and other clinical symptoms of fear and anxiety.
Read more about the Best Anti-anxiety Earmuffs / Anxiety Wraps for Dogs
I) Consult a Vet or a dog behavior analyst
If your dog is still struggling to cope with the noise of fireworks, it’s a good idea to consult a professional. They will be able to give you specific advice and help you create a plan that’s tailored to your pet’s needs.
These are just a few ideas to help keep your dog calm during fireworks. What works for one pet may not work for another, so it’s important to experiment and find what helps your furry friend relax. With a little patience and effort, you can help your pet to enjoy the festivities without being afraid.
You should also know WHY your dogs are afraid of fireworks. What is it about them that upsets them? This will help you in understanding their position and how they’re feeling.
Why are dogs afraid of Fireworks?
While fireworks may be entertaining for people, they can be disorienting, confusing, and even frightening for dogs.
Whether it’s Diwali, New Year’s Eve, or any other festive occasion, when fireworks make loud booms and crackles fill the air, it’s vital to be aware of any dog that is frightened of loud noises and keep an eye on how they’re doing.
Here are a few of the reasons why dogs are scared of fireworks.
Dogs’ hearing is exceptionally sensitive; it’s almost twice as powerful as a human’s. Hearing the sound of a crinkling treat wrapper from somewhere else in the home will cause them to come running.
You can now comprehend how overwhelming and frightening the sound of the firecrackers must be for dogs.
Unpredictability and the fear of the unknown
People are generally expecting fireworks when they blow up. Dogs, on the other hand, have no prior experience with such an event. To them, it’s just another day, and when the loud noises and dazzling lights start, they have no clue what’s going on or why it’s happening.
Another explanation for dogs being scared of fireworks is that they are unpredictable. Dogs are creatures of habit and like to know what’s going on around them. Fireworks disrupt this feeling of safety as they are often accompanied by bright flashes of light which can further startle your dog.
They perceive it as a threat
Many dogs consider fireworks to be a threat because of the loud noises and lack of predictability, which then provoke their fight-or-flight response. If your dog is subjected to these noises, it may bark excessively, attempt to run away and hide from the situation, or show other signs of anxiety such as restlessness, panting heavily, pacing back and forth, or whining uncontrollably.
Another reason might be that they associate the sound of fireworks with something bad happening. If they’ve been scared by fireworks before or if they’ve seen other dogs being afraid of them, this can create a negative association that makes them anxious.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that your dog is not trying to be difficult, they’re just afraid. So, try to be understanding and patient as you work on helping them to feel more comfortable.
When it comes to fireworks, most dogs are afraid. You know your dog the best and will be able to determine how much intervention is required during the celebration. If you’re unsure, keep in mind that prevention, diversion, and lots of love are almost always recommended!