With summer just on the horizon you can pretty much assume that there is going to be some fireworks coming up too. Not just because of the 4th of July holiday but summertime seems to be when fireworks are at their peak usage. Unfortunately, many dogs can be alarmed and fearful of the sharp, abrupt and loud sound that comes with the spectacle of fireworks. If your dog is one of these sensitive pups, here are a few things you can do to help your pooch feel more at ease around fireworks.
If you know that a fireworks-filled event is coming to your neighborhood then you might choose to make this an opportunity to head out of town and visit some friends or family – away from the fireworks. It is not always feasible to get away, especially around the 4th of July but knowing when fireworks will be coming can also help you do some of the following things to help prepare your dog for the noisy festivities.
Create a safe place
Like their distant wolf cousins, dogs are happy to have a den of their own, which is where they feel safe. In many homes, dog parents will choose to have a crate or other space that is just for Fido, which acts like their den. Before the fireworks start blasting, make sure your dog’s special place is safe and secure. This is where you can keep your pooch. It is generally a good idea to shut out as much of the noise as possible by closing windows or placing a thick heavy blanket over your dog’s crate. Maybe even try to procure some harp music to play as dogs have been shown to enjoy harp music. Try and stay calm for Fido. Chances are you might become agitated knowing your pup is going to be uncomfortable. Remember Fido can sense this and you don’t want him to feel any more fear.
You can try to desensitize your pup to the sound of the fireworks by gradually exposing him to the sound on a regular basis. You can locate sound samples of fireworks on the Internet to play around your four-legged friend. Start out with the volume low and gradually increase it to the levels that might be encountered inside your home during a fireworks show. The more you dog is exposed to this sound, the less likely your dog will be negatively impacted by the sound of the fireworks later.
Another great way to get your dog less afraid of fireworks is to create a fun environment during a fireworks display. The best way to do this is to play with your dog and reward him for his jovial behavior. Make sure your dog is in the midst of a good time when you reward him, as we want your pup to make positive associations not negative ones. Petting or giving your pup treats when he is scared will only tell him that fearful behavior is okay.
See your Vet
If you are finding that your pooch is having a very hard time around fireworks to the point where you are concerned, don’t hesitate to see your vet. He or she may prescribe medication to help your dog have an easier time during this particularly noisy activity.