If you’ve been through a fireworks holiday with your dog before, then you know it can be stressful for both of you. It’s easy to understand why the noise might frighten them. It’s not just loud; it’s unpredictable--just when your pooch thinks the danger is over it starts back up again.
How well your dog handles the stress, fear, and anxiety that can come with fireworks will depend on your dog’s temperament and acclimation to loud noises. It’s important that you keep your dog’s personality in mind and make preparations to help get them through this rough situation.
One of the best things you can do is to stay calm. Keep your voice even, and comfort your pet. Keep your dog indoors and never allow your animal to get near the fireworks. Prepare a quiet, out of the way place for your dog. A familiar blanket, pillow, and favorite toys may offer comfort. Offer reassuring words throughout the night along with extra hugs if that’s what your dog enjoys. Some dogs find comfort from pressure wraps. In extreme cases, a veterinarian can provide medication that may be helpful.
Supervise Your Dog
Aside from the noise, the chemicals in fireworks can be extremely toxic if ingested. Potassium nitrate, charcoal, sulfur, and other agents can cause problems, as minor as diarrhea or as severe as acute kidney failure. Being too close to the explosion can also result in severe burns or other injuries. To be on the safe side, never allow your dog to get close to fireworks, either lit or unlit.
It’s best to keep your dog inside and away from windows. Many dogs run away on the 4th of July. Be sure that you keep a close eye to make sure that your dog can’t get out and that if your dog does escape, he or she can be found. Your dog needs a tag with a name and contact number. Even better, ensure that your dog is microchipped so a vet can identify it should it become lost.
Do a Trial Run
Fortunately, not all dogs are afraid of fireworks. If you don’t know how your dog might react. You can safely test your dog’s sensitivity by playing the sound of fireworks at a low level and increase the volume to see how it reacts. This technique can also be used for desensitizing your pet to the sound by playing the sound while playing with them. This may create an association with good times.
Keep in mind that every dog reacts to fireworks differently. If your dog comes to you for comfort, indulge him or her. You don’t need to force it. Being there and offering words of encouragement will go a long way. Have a good exercise session so that your dog can work off some energy and stress before the action starts. Above all, be patient. The festivities will pass, and you can get back to normal. Spending time with your dog in a calm, comforting environment will help you both get through it.