How To Keep Your Pup Safe And Calm During Fireworks
Fireworks and the general hoopla surrounding a national holiday aren’t so fun for our dogs. Even dogs that have never given a second thought to loud noises can suddenly experience fear and reactivity toward fireworks. In fact, more dogs go missing during the 4th of July Holiday than during any other.
This is because the loud bangs and pops trigger their nervous system, causing them to become anxious and scared. It’s your dog’s survival instincts kicking in and telling them to run far, far away from whatever is causing the noise. Fireworks can be especially dangerous because dogs that exhibit no noise reactivity to things such as thunder can surprise their owners with their reaction to the unnatural and unusual sounds from a fireworks display.
Secure Your Dog
It’s important to make sure your dog is safely secured heading into the evening when you expect fireworks nearby. Your best bet is to keep your dog inside during the show. Dogs who you never thought could escape a fenced-in yard will turn into master escape artists.
While your dog is inside, also make sure all windows and screen doors are shut tight. We were serious about them being master escape artists!
If your dog is crate trained, you may want to consider keeping them secured in there. Especially if you won’t be home. Your pup may usually be an angel while you’re away, but fireworks can lead them to tear through the house and could result in injury.
Calm Your Dog
Keeping your dog inside and possibly crated will help with any anxiety they feel. Some dogs would rather cuddle with you on the couch than be in their crate though.
Be sensitive to their needs and attempts at communicating with you. Give them extra love and attention, and maybe a peanut butter filled Kong to keep them distracted.
Here are a few tips for more guidance on calming your dog.
Exercise. Get all your pup’s energy out about an hour before the fireworks are set to begin. This will give them time to calm down after the exercise and have them in a totally relaxed state heading into the evening.
Keep yourself calm. Dogs communicate via visual cues and energy more than anything. If you’re relaxed and not making a big deal out of the noise, your dog will get the message that everything is fine.
Give them a rub down. A nice ear massage or a gentle, yet firm stroke along their body will do wonders to settle an anxious dog. You’ll know they’ve settled down when you see them yawn or lick their lips.
Play Music or Watch TV. Provide some background noise to drown out the sound of the fireworks.
Close The Blinds. It’s not just the noise that freaks your dog out. The bright flashes of light may also contribute to their anxiety.