It’s Independence Day here in the US which means Fireworks. Whether you love them or hate them, most dogs don’t enjoy them. Reactions can run from slight anxiety to health damaging terror. That’s why today I’m sharing tips and tricks on helping your pup cope this weekend.
Whatever the fireworks season is where you live, these tips will help your dog (and you) get through them with minimal problems.
One of the side effects of fear is the fight or flight response. Too many dogs panic and run away during fireworks displays so a key tip is to keep your dog tagged, leashed, crated, inside – basically whatever you need to do to eliminate their ability to flee in a panic and get lost.
In a nutshell, here’s what you need to do to keep your dog safe and calm: during Fireworks:
1. Keep your dog physically safe from panicking and running away 2. Buffer the noise as much as possible 3. Distract your dog where you can with toys, games and yummy treats 4. Comfort your dog who will feel safer with you there
Fireworks Tips for Dogs:
1. Keep your dog physically safe from panicking and running away
As mentioned above, even if you don’t plan to take your dog out, keep their ID tags on them. If they are frightened and someone opens the front door, even a dog who has never bolted before might run out. In the US, July 4th is the day with the highest number of lost dogs.
2. Buffer the noise as much as possible
The less exposed to the fireworks your dog is the better. I know that’s easier said than done but do what you can to minimize the disturbance. Close your windows and curtains, put on more familiar noise like the TV, music or a white noise machine. Allow your dog to be in the spot in your home where they feel the safest whether that’s the bathtub, your bed or their crate.
3. Distract your dog where you can with toys, games and yummy treats
It’s possible your dog will be too anxious to be distracted but do your best. Offer belly rubs, favorite toys, yummy treats, etc. Buy some new toys to up your pup’s curiosity level. Get creative!
4. Comfort your dog who will feel safer with you there
There is an old myth that says comforting your dog makes them think it’s OK to be afraid but that isn’t true. Comforting your dog when they are afraid is the loving and compassionate thing to do. Sit with them in the bathtub or lay in bed singing to them. I used to read out loud to Jake to distract him.
The process is simple even though the fear is complex. Keep at it even if it seems like your dog isn’t getting better. One can be afraid and comforted at the same time.
There are more tips for you at this link and this link for more ways to keep your dog safe and calm during the very loud sparkly celebrations.