New Year’s Eve and fireworks are soon upon us. As a pet owner I must say I’m not too fond of this tradition. The flashing lights and the loud noise that the fireworks create can be a lot for some dogs to handle.
Like one of mine.
I don’t like seeing my dog feel nervous, so over the years I have gathered some tips and tricks how to make my dog feel more comfortable during fireworks.
Today I’m sharing those tips with you. From one dog owner to another.
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12 Tips Regarding Anxious Dogs And Fireworks
1. Keep company to your dog and comfort him. Stay calm and make it seem like the fireworks are nothing to worry about. It might help relax your pet if you are not paying attention to the fireworks either.
2. Offer your pet a calm place to be at when fireworks are set off. Some dogs may wish to hide under a bed or in a dark nook of your home. Others may seek comfort from people and even wish to be held.
3. Cover your windows with curtains to block the blinking lights created by the fireworks.
4. Mask the noise coming from the fireworks by putting on a TV or play some calming music.
5. Consider getting your dog an anxiety wrap / thundershirt. These kind of shirts are said to release certain kind of calming hormones. Please note that I have never tried them on my dogs, so I don’t know how effective they are.
6. Consider exercising your dog during daylight when it is less noisy outside. Also time your dog’s potty trips so that you can avoid the most popular time when fireworks are being set off.
7. Ensure that your dog’s collar and leash are in good condition and that your pet can’t wiggle his way out of them. Should your dog get startled and attempt to run away, your gear needs to be able to hold up and not break because it was too worn out.
8. Besides having your dog microchipped, make sure that he is wearing an ID-tag in case he runs away. Pet ID-tags are a way to ensure that your dog has a better chance of finding back home should he run away. No matter how well trained your dog is, if he is truly startled and scared, he might just bolt and ignore you when you call for him. In some cases one could even consider getting a GPS tracker for one’s dog.
9. Never leave your dog unsupervised in your yard during this time. Even if your dog has never been scared of fireworks before, someone could set off a firework so close to your dog that it causes him to get startled. One bad incident could potentially make a previously calm dog now fearful of fireworks for the rest of his life. Besides supervising your dog, make sure your yard is secure so that your dog can’t escape it.
10. Depending on how anxious your dog is, maybe you could offer him something to do to take his mind off the fireworks. I know extremely stressed dogs won’t eat, but if your dog doesn’t seem too anxious, you could try offering him something to chew on or an activity toy to play with.
11. You could also escape the fireworks to a calmer environment together with your dog. Consider visiting friends or relatives that live in the countryside (and don’t set off fireworks), rent a remote cabin or book a stay at a pet friendly hotel far away from the noise and lights that fireworks create.
12. If your dog suffers from severe stress and anxiety, your veterinarian may be able to help. I have also heard of pheromone collars and diffusers that may be able to help some dogs. I have never tested these products nor any other anxiety medication on my dogs, so I don’t know how effective they are. Please contact your veterinarian for information on these topics.
I hope these tips were helpful to you. Let’s hope our pets get through yet another fireworks season feeling safer and calmer.