Picture this: You’re in a serene, quiet world.
Suddenly, there’s a bright flash and a loud, thunderous bang, with no warning at all.
For many dogs, this is what fireworks feel like – a series of shocking and unsettling surprises.
While humans might understand and even appreciate these colorful displays, to our canine friends, they can be downright terrifying.
In this article, we share with you how to deal with dogs scared of fireworks.
There are clever ways we can prepare and help our pets navigate this experience.
Let’s Get Ready: Things You Can Do Before Fireworks
Making A Cozy Spot
Have you ever noticed how some dogs love to curl up in small, enclosed spaces when scared?
This is because these nooks resemble dens, which offer safety in the wild.
If your dog doesn’t already have a designated safe space, it’s a great idea to create one.
Choose a quiet corner, preferably in a room without windows, and fill it with their favorite toys, some comforting old clothes that smell like you, and a soft blanket.
You can even introduce them to this spot a few days before any expected fireworks so they associate it with comfort and security.
Keeping Away From Fireworks
The intensity of fireworks is both visual and auditory.
What many dog owners don’t realize is that dogs have a wider hearing range than humans, meaning they can hear frequencies we can’t.
This makes fireworks all the more distressing.
While we can’t mute the noise completely, we can reduce its impact.
Keep them indoors, close all windows and doors, and draw the curtains to lessen the visual and auditory stimuli.
An unfamiliar tip: You can use white noise machines or fans to help drown out the startling sounds from outside.
Safety Comes First
In their panic, it’s not uncommon for dogs to try and escape.
This instinct to flee can sometimes lead them far from home.
A precaution often overlooked is ensuring that your dog is microchipped and that the details are up-to-date.
Along with a collar and tag, microchipping increases the chances of a safe reunion if they do manage to dash out.
Additionally, some pet owners have found that calming wraps, which apply gentle, constant pressure (much like swaddling a baby), can be useful in reducing anxiety during fireworks.
Easy Tips To Help Your Dog During Fireworks
Just as music or a good movie can distract us, it can do the same for dogs.
Turning on some calming music or a TV show might cover up the scary noises from the fireworks.
This background sound helps them feel like it’s just another regular day.
Think about the first time you heard a really loud noise; it probably scared you, right?
Now, imagine if you heard it a few times, each time a little louder.
Soon, it might not seem so scary.
That’s the idea here.
Playing fireworks sounds quiet and increasing the volume over time can help your dog get used to them.
Wearing a snug piece of clothing, like a Thundershirt, can feel like a comforting hug for a dog.
It’s a bit like when we wrap ourselves in a blanket.
The gentle pressure from these shirts can make dogs feel safer and more grounded.
Close Windows And Curtains
Bright, flashing lights combined with loud bangs can be very startling.
By simply closing the windows and drawing the curtains, we make the house quieter and block out the startling flashes, helping dogs feel more relaxed.
Dogs are pretty smart when it comes to feelings.
They can often tell how we’re feeling just by watching us.
If we show them that we’re calm and not worried, it might help them feel more at ease.
Toys And Treats
Remember how time flies when you’re having fun?
For dogs, a chew toy or a delicious treat can be the perfect distraction.
When they’re busy having fun or enjoying a snack, they’re less likely to be bothered by noise.
Play is a dog’s favorite thing, and a bonus is that it tires them out.
A walk or a good play session before the fireworks begin can help them feel more relaxed when the noises start.
Imagine if you got lost and had no way of telling people who you are.
That’s why it’s crucial for our pets to wear a tag with their name and contact details.
A microchip is another great backup to help lost dogs find their way back home.
Natural Calming Aids
Just like some people drink calming tea, there are safe sprays, drops, and treats that can help dogs relax.
Always make sure to check with a vet before giving anything new.
For some dogs, the fear of fireworks is too much.
In these cases, it’s essential to talk to a vet.
They might suggest special medicines to help the dog relax.
Everyone loves being told they’re doing a great job, including dogs!
When they behave calmly during noisy times, a gentle word of praise or a tasty treat can reinforce this good behavior.
When To Ask For Help
Talking To The Vet
Some dogs get extra scared, and that’s okay.
If your dog seems too scared, it’s smart to talk to your vet.
Here’s something you might not know: Vets sometimes have special medicines that can calm your dog down during super noisy events.
Learning From The Pros
Trainers don’t just teach tricks like “sit” or “roll over.”
They’re like dog teachers who understand how dogs feel.
They can teach you ways to help your dog be brave, even when the sky is booming.
Why Are Dogs Scared Of Fireworks Anyway?
Big Noises Equal Big Scares
A fun fact is dogs can hear things we can’t.
So, the bangs from fireworks?
They’re SUPER loud for them, almost like a giant’s footsteps!
Dogs remember a lot.
If a loud noise scared them before, they might think of it when they hear fireworks.
It’s like remembering a time when you were scared.
Learning From Friends
Did you ever feel scared just because your friend was scared?
Dogs do that, too.
If one dog gets scared, others might think, “Oh no! I should be worried, too!”
It’s In Their Genes
Just like some of us are shy or some of us love to talk, dogs are born with certain feelings, too.
Some types of dogs get scared more easily because of how they grew up in the wild.
Every dog, just like every person, is different.
Some might hide, some might bark, and some might just sleep.
But all of them need our love, especially when the sky gets loud and sparkly.
With some planning and care, we can turn fireworks night into a cozy time inside, making sure our four-legged friends are safe and happy.
Before You Go…
Now you know how to deal with dogs scared of fireworks.
If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!
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