There are many events and holidays celebrated around the world that include fireworks in their celebrations. While many of us enjoy a good firework display, many dogs would rather skip the celebration because of the loud sounds. If your dog is anxious around fireworks, there are several things you can do to make the night easier and safer for your dog. Today, we are exploring 4 ways you can help your dog get through a celebratory night of fireworks. In addition, we will also discover some precautions you can take to keep your dog safe during firework celebrations.
Ways to Keep Your Dog Calm During Firework Celebrations
Distract Your Dog
For some dogs, keeping them distracted is all it takes to keep them sane. Think of some fun and exciting ways to keep your dog distracted from the sound of the fireworks. Buy them a new toy, play games, watch TV—do anything that will keep your dog occupied. These activities on their own likely won’t keep your dog distracted all night, so it’s best to have several fun things planned. If your dog tends to be very skittish, distraction might not be enough to help them through their fear. Keep reading to discover some other ways you can help your canine companion.
Participate in Relaxing Activities
Some dogs enjoy certain activities that help them relax. Every dog is different, but for some, it might be grooming, snuggling, or chewing on a toy. You can also buy a lick mat or food stuffer toy. These items allow you to freeze food on or in them to create a challenging game for your dog. All your dog has to do is lick and chew on the toys to get the food. The reason these toys are so effective is that licking releases endorphins in your dog’s brain and helps them relax.
Train Around Loud Sounds
Training your dog to remain calm around loud sounds can help them feel more comfortable during firework exhibitions. Not only will training help your dog with the effects of fireworks, but it will also be helpful throughout your dog’s everyday life.
You will want to start when your dog is already in a relaxed state of mind. You fill a jug with rocks and shake and drop it or use anything to make a loud and distinct sound. Make sure that you reward your dog for remaining calm. (You can use food, toys, or praise to reward your dog.) Continue this exercise with different objects and gradually increase the loudness. If your dog is too nervous or uncomfortable with a certain sound, take a step back or take a break. Remember, your goal is to make your dog feel more comfortable around loud noises—you don’t want to make them more stressed!
Give Your Dog Calming Treats/Pills
Even if you plan on using the other tactics we learned about, giving your dog calming treats or pills can still help reduce the amount of stress your dog experiences while fireworks explode. There are many all-natural calming aids that you can find at your local pet store. Most of these treats have a pleasant taste (at least for dogs) that makes them easy to feed to your dog. Always follow the instructions and recommended dose on the label of the treats. We also suggest consulting a licensed professional to hear their recommendations for your specific dog.
Precautions To Take To Keep Your Dog Safe
Keep Your Dog In a Safe Space
More dogs go missing on holidays that involve fireworks than at any other time of the year. Keeping your dog in a safe space during this time will decrease the chance of your dog running away. If your dog lives outside or will be outdoors while fireworks are going off, check your fence line and make sure there aren’t any areas that your dog can escape through. Securing any gates will also be a good idea. Make sure your yard is clean and free of debris so your dog doesn’t get hurt if he gets spooked.
If your dog will be indoors, make sure there aren’t any ways he can get out. If you have a doggy door, secure it so your dog can not get out. Keeping the area your dog will be in clean will also be helpful so your dog doesn’t accidentally get hurt if he gets spooked. Fireworks are commonly used during special occasions and holidays, so if you will have guests over while fireworks are going off, try to keep your dog secluded in an area away from any doors that lead outside. Your dog can get overwhelmed and try to escape when someone opens the door.
You can also keep your dog in a crate. Some dogs feel more safe and relaxed while in a crate, while others feel anxious and “trapped”. If your dog isn’t very fond of the crate, it would probably be best if you keep them in a bigger space.
Make Sure Your Dog Has An Updated Tag
As we learned earlier, too many dogs are lost because of fireworks. Even if you have secured your house and yard, make sure your dog is wearing an updated ID tag. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and an ID tag with your current phone number and address can be all it takes to get your dog home safely if they run away.
Watching fireworks can be a fun way to spend the evening or celebrate a holiday, but for some dogs, it can be stressful. By using some of the tactics we learned about, you can make the night more delightful and safe for your furry friend.