Summer is the time for picnics, parties, and celebrations! Many of those parties may involve fireworks. In the United States, one of the largest celebrations of the summer is on the 4th of July. Fireworks will explode in the sky for several days before and several days after the holiday.
Fireworks can be particularly scary for your dog. The sudden, loud, seemingly endless noise can send even the best behaved dog into a tailspin! Let’s look at some ways to curb your poor pooches’ anxieties during this time:
- It’s best to leave your dog in the house whenever fireworks are on display. Please don’t take them to a party where loud fireworks will be set off. Many dogs are found in shelters in the days following these displays because they will often bolt from their owners and get lost. A fenced yard isn’t good enough, a scared dog will find a way out, whether under or over the fence.
- Inside the home, try not to vary your behavior too much. You may think that extra petting and coddling is helping him to adjust, but you may actually be reinforcing the fear that he is feeling.
- Try white noise to muffle the sounds of the explosions. A fan, radio, TV, or many other normal noises can serve to help keep your dog from getting too upset.
- Don’t show fear yourself. Don’t jump, scream or anything else to startle your dog. Dogs can sense fear so if you truly are afraid, they will know, even if you think your body language isn’t “that bad.” You really do have to remain calm.
- Know when your neurotic family member just needs to hide. Sometimes, the very best thing you can do is let the furry family member go to his “safe place” and just hide. Don’t worry, he’ll come out when the noise stops and his familiar surroundings feel safe again.
- If you have past knowledge of severe fear to fireworks, visit your vet. She can give your pet some medication that will relax or sedate the poor guy so that everyone has a better party!
No matter when fireworks erupt in your area, these few tips should help you and your best friend stay sane during the ear piercing sounds that sometimes come from these beautiful works of art in the sky.