A friendly reminder to our dog tribe, and all pet owners, that while humans may enjoy fireworks, our dogs DO NOT!
The period around July 4th can become quite stressful and anxious for dogs as they hear the pops and sounds of fireworks. As many of you may have experienced, your dog may start to frantically run around, bark incessantly, pant, whine, or become restlessness. Shelters see a rise in lost pets every year around this holiday.
According to vets, dogs perceive the noise of fireworks as threats and it triggers their fight-or-flight responses. Depending on where you live, the loud noises may be inevitable. Here are some firework safety tips, so you don't end up with a dog that accidentally bolts off running.
- If you already know that your dog is terrified of fireworks, check your local listing of the firework shows that will be happening around you. This can help you prepare! Unfortunately, you may not know about the one-off fireworks that your neighbors may be setting, but you can be as prepared as possible.
- Make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag that has his/her name with a phone number. In case they get lost, the tags can help people identify owners quickly.
- Fill up your dog's water bowl. If your dog is anxious, they will get more thirsty.
- Try to close all the windows and doors to reduce sounds. You can even draw the curtains to block out flashing lights.
- Play music or turn on the TV to a louder volume during fireworks. That can help distract your dog.
- If your dog hides or comes to you, make sure to comfort them.
- Let your dog out or walk your dog earlier in the day or an hour before the fireworks starts. Vets also recommend exercising your dogs more frequently leading up to the holiday as exercise helps reduce anxiety.
- Create a "safe area" for your dog to retreat if need be. This safe den can include blankets and your dog's favorite toys to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
- Dogs can sense your energy! Act as normal as possible.
- Don't reprimand your dog for being scared of fireworks - it's a natural reaction - and trying to reprimand them will just make them more stressed.
Hope these tips are helpful! As always, we love to hear your suggestions as well. Wishing everyone a happy holiday weekend!