Does your dog run or hide at the sound of fireworks? Many dogs fear sudden loud noises such as fireworks or thunderstorms. While some fears may be mild, other dogs can experience extreme anxiety during a noise event. This can significantly impact your dog’s well-being and can even lead to physical harm if not adequately addressed. Luckily, there is help!
This article will discuss how to help your dog with their firework fears and provide some tips to keep them safe.
Why Are Dogs Afraid of Fireworks?
Dogs who are afraid of fireworks suffer from a noise phobia or noise aversion. In some cases, it is caused by a single traumatic event. However, a noise phobia can also occur due to continued exposure to sudden loud noises.
The range of symptoms for dogs experiencing firework fears can vary greatly. Some dogs show only minor signs of stress, while others experience a full-blown panic.
Some of the most common signs of firework anxiety include:
- Excessive Panting
- House Soiling
- Destructive Behavior
- Attempts to Escape
Keeping Your Dog Safe During Fireworks
Recognizing your dog’s fear of fireworks is the first step in keeping your pet safe. Once you understand your dog’s behavior, you can take the necessary steps to ease their anxiety and keep them safe.
Dogs with a fear of fireworks often try to run and hide to escape the noise. Because of this, it’s essential to make sure all windows and doors are closed. This will significantly reduce the risk of your pet escaping and potential injury.
Additionally, avoid taking your dog outside once the fireworks are underway. If the fireworks are part of a scheduled event, make sure your dog has an opportunity to go to the bathroom before the noise begins. Once the noise starts, ensure your dog remains inside until the coast is clear.
How to Ease Your Dog’s Firework Fears
In addition to taking certain precautions to keep your pet safe, there are also several ways you can help reduce your dog’s fear and anxiety when fireworks occur. Here are a few tips for easing your dog’s firework fears.
Planning ahead is critical in keeping your dog relaxed and preventing anxiety. Once the fireworks begin, it can be challenging to calm your pet down.
Check your local events calendar and be mindful of specific holidays when fireworks are likely to occur. New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July are the most common times for firework celebrations. Knowing when to expect the fireworks will help you take precautions before your dog’s fear sets in.
Create a Safe Space
Another way you can ease your pet’s firework fears is to create a safe space for them to go before the fireworks begin. Bathrooms and closets are often great options for getting your pet away from windows and doors where the firework noise is the loudest. Remember to bring your dog’s water bowl and their favorite toy or treat.
If your dog is crate trained, consider moving their crate into a different room and away from all the noise. You can even turn on some music to help drown out the sound of the loud booms. The key is ensuring your dog is comfortable and reducing their exposure to firework noise.
Dogs feed off our emotions, and fretting over your dog’s firework fear can make the problem worse. While you may be tempted to give your dog extra attention or cuddles to help keep them calm, this kind of attention can have the opposite effect. Not only can this reinforce their fear, but it can also encourage the behavior. Instead, try to remain calm and avoid fretting over your pup.
Consider a Calming Supplements
Calming supplements are another helpful tool that you can use to get your dog’s fear under control. Some calming agents come in the form of a treat and can be used to reduce anxiety. Calming agents should be given before a noise event and are best used in combination with other calming techniques. Follow the directions on the supplement’s label carefully and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
Stronger anxiety medication is also available for dogs with extreme fear. However, these typically require a prescription and should only be used under the direction of your veterinarian.
For many dog owners, fireworks are a dreaded event. Firework anxiety can significantly impact your dog’s well-being and take the fun out of these festive celebrations. However, there are several easy ways to help ease your dog’s fears and help keep them safe.
We hope these tips will serve as a helpful guide as you prepare to tackle your dog’s firework fears!