Sounds like a childhood nightmare; to a lot of dogs fireworks are just that… a nightmare. Even the most solid dog can be terrified by the repeated loud bangs, flashes and booms. There are things you can do before and during a Firework Celebration to make it less scary for your pet.
You know this is hard for your pup so get ready now so when the fireworks start you are ready to help make them less scary and keep your pet safe.
- Containment. Many dogs instinctively will flee and look for escape their our yard, slip a lead or even break out of a kennel. simply assuring your pet is secured in a safe place inside the home will minimize their chance of getting lost. This is a great reason to crate train your dog so they know it is a safe place. Covering the crate with a light opaque blanket is calming for some dogs and provides additional shelter.
- ID Please. Just in case your pet does get out do they have a microchip and tags? Is the info on the tag or at the chip company current and a number that still works? If not please be sure to update.
- Go Shopping. This time in the crate is a great time to give them an extra special treat like a big bone or kong stuffed and frozen with something yummy. Get Stuffed is a FB page loaded with different recipes for Kong stuffing.
- Drown it out. Some dogs respond well to calming music. Relax My Dog provides 2 hours of free music. They are experts in creating relaxing music to help calm your dog and help dogs to sleep. Our music is composed in-house by our team of producers, and uses sound sweep technology designed to relax and calm your dog. If you dog has sleeping problems, anxiety problems or is stressed during fireworks and thunderstorms!
- Dress up. There are several anti anxiety jackets that may provide some calming effects on your pet. DIY Anxiety Wraps on Pinterest if you want to do one yourself or several are listed on Amazon
- Keep Busy. Distract you pup with some favorite training activities or games. This is a great time to practice your existing obedience and tricks training.
- Medication and Natural Therapies. A dog owner is never thrilled with the necessity to use drugs in relieving their pooch’s fears. But, remember for those extreme cases, medicating your dog to keep him calm can be better for his health and well-being than not treating his condition. Talk to your vet about anxiety medications for your dog. Now for milder cases, you can try lavender essential oils, flower extracts, or homeopathic formulas
- Professional Help. I don’t care how experienced you are sometimes a fresh set of professional eyes can make a world of difference. DFW Force Free Trainers Network provides a list of Positive Reinforcement trainers and behaviorists.
- Medication. Any decisions regarding medications should be made by a veterinarian. Many dogs can manage their anxiety with your help, but in severe cases medication can be an important tool in helping your dog.
Bottom line is this. Your dogs anxiety is real but with your help, some planning and work you both can have a happy and safe holiday.