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Is your dog scared of fireworks? She’s not alone! Although fireworks are a fun, exciting sight for us humans, for dogs, they’re typically the opposite. The unexpected, loud noise can often create stress and anxiety for your dog. Fireworks and dogs are two ingredients that often do not mix well. So, before the fireworks are lit, be sure to understand what your pup is experiencing.
Why are Dogs Scared of Fireworks?
It’s normal for loud noises to startle us and the same goes for dogs. Fireworks are loud, and when they explode the sound triggers dogs’ nervous systems which in turn makes them feel afraid. If your dog runs away when fireworks go off it’s because of natural instinct. They are trying to survive. It’s not like any other noise they’ve heard before and they don’t understand where it’s coming from, so their first instinct is to find protection far away from the loud noise.
How to Calm a Dog During Fireworks
There are a few options for you to help calm your pooch.
- If you’re at home, create a safe environment for your dog during the fireworks. Perhaps in her crate with a chew toy. You could even play some music in the background.
- If you’re somewhere else, give her a treat or her favorite toy during the fireworks. This will make her feel happy and may take some of the attention off of the loud noise.
- Stay calm yourself. If you freak out, so will your dog. If your pup begins to go crazy during fireworks try to stay calm and soothe her. Perhaps you can pick her up and hold her tight. This can help her feel more safe and secure.
- Purchase a Thundershirt. A Thundershirt applies pressure to the dog since it is wrapped tightly around her. This gives her the sense of being secure. Have your dog wear a Thundershirt during fireworks — this should help with the anxiety.
- Try an essential oil anxiety remedy to counteract the scary combination of fireworks and dogs.
- Medicate your pup. If there is absolutely no other alternative, and the fireworks cannot be avoided (maybe you live close to a venue that regularly has fireworks), then you may talk to your vet about prescribing anti-anxiety medication for your dog to take before the fireworks begin.
Here’s a video of a dog who truly benefits from the Thundershirt.
As you can see from the video, the way you prepare your pup for fireworks can truly be lifesaving. If your dog escapes and is put in a shelter you may never find her. If that shelter is experiencing challenges with having enough space your dog could be one of 1.2 million dogs euthanized every year. It’s truly sad. So, be sure to take care of your pup the next time fireworks are on the agenda.
Do you have any tricks for calming your dog during fireworks?