The loud noises and visual stimuli of fireworks cause many dogs to suffer from fear or anxiety. Although fireworks are a common part of many celebrations, many dogs are stressed and suffer from them. It is important for owners to understand how to help a dog with a fear of fireworks.
In this post we leave some tips to help your dog in this type of situation.
Helping a dog with a fear of fireworks
- Provides a safe haven. You can create a safe space inside your home where your dog can take shelter during fireworks. It can be an interior room or a transport box covered with blankets to isolate the noise. Make sure the space is familiar to your dog and place his bed, toys and something that is comforting to him, such as a garment with your scent on it.
- Close doors and windows. To give help to a fearful dog, during fireworks you can keep all doors and windows closed. This will reduce noise and light flare. You could try turning on the television or radio to create background noise to lessen the impact of the fireworks.
- Do not reinforce fear. It is very important not to scold or punish your dog for his fear of fireworks, as this will only increase his anxiety. Try to maintain a calm attitude and not negatively reinforce their fear. You can offer him words of encouragement and reward his good behavior with praise or treats when he remains calm.
- Distractions. During fireworks, it may be a solution to distract your dog with activities that he enjoys and help keep his mind occupied. Play with him, practice some training exercises or give him interactive toys filled with food. This can divert your attention away from the fireworks and help you relax.
- Products for anxiety. Consult your veterinarian about the possibility of using natural products or medications to help your dog relax during fireworks. Some options may include calming pheromones, natural supplements or specific veterinary prescriptions for anxiety.
Pet owners can be aware of some symptoms that show that the dog is suffering from fear and stress. Symptoms may include tremors, howling, barking, excessive urination and aggressive behavior.
If you detect any of these symptoms, you should try to calm your pet. This may include using a blanket to cover the dogs, talking to them in a soft voice or even petting them to help them relax.
Another action you can take is training to help desensitize your dog. For example, before the upcoming fireworks season you can gradually accustom your dog to the noise. Look for recordings of fireworks and gently play the sound while doing positive activities with your dog. Gradually increase the volume over several days or weeks, as long as your dog feels comfortable. This can help him get used to the noise and reduce his fear.
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