This time of year is often stressful for our 4 legged critters. We have dogs that absolutely freak out during thunderstorms and fireworks and others who act as though nothing is going on.
First and foremost, understand your dog and help them succeed in getting through this without getting hurt.
- DO NOT LEAVE THEM TIED UP ANYWHERE!!!!! They can strangle themselves and even sever limbs
- STAY HOME WITH YOUR PETS OR GIVE THEM A SAFE DARK PLACE TO STAY –
- Not possible:
- Create a special area in your home where your dog can feel safe and secure during the noise. “If your dog is crate trained then he may feel most secure in his crate with a nice chew toy to occupy his time,” said Gerardo Perez-Camargo, Purina Global Pet Welfare and Behavior Manager. If she’s not crate-trained, putting her bed in a calm place during the fireworks might work. Try closing the windows and playing some music.Play Television or Music for them in that room. Make sure they are comfortable and that the sounds outside are blocked out as much as possible. Bedroom, bathroom, cellar ……whatever room you have that the pet can find a spot to hide in a blanket or under the bed and feel safe.
- Get a sedative from your vet PRIOR TO THE FIREWORKS START!!! Once they are in fear mode, nothing is going to work.
- Please take care of your family members. Make sure they have proper identification on them in case they do flee from your home.
- One year we rescued 4 dogs in one night running the streets in our neighborhood fearful fo the loud noises. We live on a very busy highway and that could have proved deadly to those poor pups. Our family pets allowed them to stay in the house with them and they all comforted each other. Animals are AMAZING!!
- It’s normal if your dog gets scared. “While we humans have learned to expect fireworks around the Fourth of July, and New Years, the sound of fireworks can be quite startling for dogs,” said Purina dog behavior scientist Ragen T.S. McGowan.
- After all, your dog has keen senses that make fireworks a more intense experience. Your dog’s acute hearing makes him more sensitive to the sounds of fireworks than you are. “Fireworks also produce an odor that dogs may be sensitive to,” McGowan said.
- During fireworks, your dog experiences the same kind of startled response you do when you’re surprised by a loud noise. This may mean an increase in heart rate, a rush of adrenaline, and an increase in stress hormones circulating through the body.
- If you start early, you can help lower your dog’s sensitivity to the sound of fireworks. If you know there are going to be fireworks in your area, you can help prepare your dog by exposing him to recorded firework sounds. Note that this process takes months of effort that includes gradually increasing the volume while you reward your dog for keeping calm. It’s not a short-term fix.
- If you start really early, you might be able to desensitize your dog to a lot of loud noises. If you expose your dog to noises like fireworks, thunder, car horns and train whistles in a positive manner when he’s between 3 weeks and 3-months-old, he’s more likely to be unfazed by noises later in life.
- Help your dog feel happy during fireworks. Why not give your dog a special treat or his favorite toy? It might help to create positive associations with fireworks.
- Calming wraps and thundershirts may help for some dogs, too. These work like swaddling does for infants – they make your dog feel secure during stressful situations.
- The most important thing you can do is stay calm. “Making a big fuss around the dog only reassures him that there is a good reason to panic,” McGowan said. “Dogs look at us for reassurance so showing them that we are calm and relaxed is likely to help the dog understand that there is no real danger.”
Some contributions referenced from Purina.com and Photo from Steve Dale Pets-