We have long enjoyed celebrations. The vibrant pops of color in the sky, combined with barbecues, patriotic decorations, and gatherings of friends and family, make for the ideal holiday.
But there's one thing to worry about: most dogs can't tolerate fireworks! Unlike humans, our furry pals are not used to a deafening environment. The noises might trigger them to get anxious and scared. Simply put, he can be stressed out and get —aggressive!
As pet owners, we wouldn't want anything that would scare our dogs. You should be especially concerned about your dog during Independence Day, as most dogs go missing on the 4th of July (read more).
Nonetheless, there are several things you can do to reduce your dog's stress levels. Here are some of the best ideas for dealing with dogs and their fireworks anxiety.
Why Are Dogs Afraid Of Fireworks, Anyway?
Some dogs, particularly hunting dogs, become familiar with the sounds and smells of hunting rifles and explosive guns and have no problem with the loud sound and smell of fireworks. They're used to it, but some pet dogs aren't.
Fireworks are more vivid, and they are backed by whooshing sounds, loud booms, light flashes, and unpleasant burning smells. Moreover, most dogs are afraid of loud noises, especially when it's unusual.
They typically perceived fireworks as a "threat" that could bring harm. In response to the noises, your dog may bark or attempt to leave and cover up. He may display signs of dog fireworks anxiety, such as barking, restlessness, panting, and whining. You might need to give time to prepare and ready your dogs to avoid these in the middle of an event.
Give Your Dog A Comfortable Space
On holidays, providing your dog with an accessible and comfortable place to go can be helpful. Allow your dog to choose where they want to hide. If that doesn't work, place him in a bathroom or another small room with music or white noise to help block out the explosions.
Moreover, if you can't get your dog away from the fireworks, keep a travel kennel at home where she can feel comfortable. Besides, if you won't be home, it is best to have a friend or sitter keep your dog company and take her out every four hours to relieve herself.
Creating a pleasant environment for your dog might help him cope with stressful situations, such as hearing loud noises or fireworks. In this manner, having their haven where they may go when they just want to relax is reassuring.
Communicate With Them
If there's an upcoming fireworks display going on, you must assure your dog first that there's nothing to worry about. Then, you can simply pet him and talk to him in a soft voice to show your concern. As a pet owner, you must have more composure than any other, so your dog would feel secure, as well. It is essential to remember that they will look to their pet owner for guidance on how they ought to behave.
Take Them On A Stroll Before The Fireworks Start
The logic to this is simple: if he is too tired already, he will find it much easier to sleep through the fireworks. Taking him on a long walk so he won't be filled with energy will help a lot. This will make them not too focused on the unpleasant sound and smell of fireworks.
Alternatively, you can engage in a game or exercise with them first. Exercise, as we all know, is a natural stress-relieving activity. By requiring them to engage in physical activity before any fireworks displays, their bodies will be stimulated to produce a mood stabilizer, which will help them remain calm and happy on the 4th of July.
Distract Your Fur Bud With Treats And Toys!
Before the explosions of fireworks, give your dog a special treat so that they can enjoy and focus on their food instead of paying attention to the blustering noises. A bully stick, an antler, or any other type of long-lasting chew will be the perfect thing to help keep their mind occupied.
Adding toys to your pet's environment, in addition to their bed, food, and water, will make them feel happy and at ease in your home. To maintain their quiet spot tidy for you and pleasurable for them, keeping their toys in a basket will give them more accessible access to play and focus on their toys. This will surely keep them distracted. To keep your dog interested, you may pack a puzzle toy like a Kong with layers of food.
Get Extra Help From Medications
If fireworks still stress your dog after following our recommendations, it is best to speak with your veterinarian. A veterinarian may prescribe medicine to help your pet feel less anxious; however, any medication should always be supported by a behavior modification plan.
Further, it is essential to consult your veterinarian or trainer to cope with your canine's fear of fireworks. Thunder shirts, calming pheromones, vitamins, and medicine are just a few of the choices available to assist your dog cope with stress (learn more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/firework-fear-why-your-dog-does-or-doesnt-react-and-how-you-should-180975182/).
If you need to use medication to calm your dog down during the event, always keep in mind that you must know when the appropriate moment is to give it to them. You are teaching your dog to understand that the medication or any supplement is there to help them relax and feel more comfortable.