The Best Way To Help A Dog Frightened By Fireworks
As Guy Fawkes night approaches in the Uk where the key attraction will be bonfires and fireworks, there will be many dog owners stressing about having dogs that are scared of fireworks.
While it’s a reasonably common fear in dogs, and we can understand that they are scared by the loud and unpredictable sounds, firework events only happen once or twice a year so it is hard to get a dog acclimatized to the sounds.
How Do Dogs React against the Sound of Fireworks?
The way dogs react against the sound of fireworks can range from slight unease to blind panic. Some dogs will creep away and find somewhere to hide like under a bed or in a cabinet, while others will bolt and try wildly to get away from the noise. A large amount of dogs will bark and whine during the display, while others will tremble with fear.
Be careful if you are out with your dog in a firework display as some scared dogs will try and run away. You’ll need to ensure you have a firm hold of their lead and that they aren’t in a position to slip their collar. The same approach is required if you’ve got a dog that panics inside as well , ensure you contain them or have them on a lead so they can not damage themselves or any other person while they’re in this state.
How You Should Help a Dog Afraid of Fireworks First a few don’ts:
*Don’t expose your dog unnecessarily to fireworks as it won’t assist them in getting use to the loud noises and is more likely to increase their fear.
*Don’t make a big fuss of your dog when they’re fearful as this may strengthen the sense that their behavior is the right response.
*Don’t get worried yourself as this will be picked up on by your dog and will only enhance their anxiousness.
What you can do to help:
If you have got the time, you can try and desensitise your dog to the sound of fireworks. You could buy CD’s with the noise of fireworks on you can play to your dog, beginning with a low setting and continuously building the sound levels and length of exposure overtime. You will need to couple this with things your dog reacts with pleasure to such as treats or play.
Stay calm and don’t respond to the fireworks yourself. Act as if they are nothing to be worried about. If your dog wants to go and hide, let them and ensure you do not make any fuss.
Use background noise such as music, the radio or Television to try to block out the fireworks and make sure your windows are closed and the dog can spend the time as far apart from the noise as practicable.
If you’ve a dog with an intense fear of fireworks that actually gets beyond control, it may be worth speaking to a vet about prescribing anti-anxiety medicine.
If you are going to the firework display yourself and leaving your dog home alone, make sure that you leave them in a secure and safe environment where they can not hurt themselves. Do not give them access to the outside during the fireworks as they can react a little unpredictably.
Author Venice Marriott is a writer and dog owner and runs a website, which provides help and information for dog owners dealing with dog anxiety. Get more information about dogs scared of fireworks, when you visit the site.