Summertime is usually a fun-filled time for humans because the season is full of celebrations, holidays, and festivals, with our nights ending with a big bang. But for some dogs, celebration nights are not usually exciting but terrifying. Many dogs tremble with fear and run away.
Managing Your Dog and its Fireworks anxiety
As a loving pet owner, you probably don’t like to see your dog cowering in fear or terror due to stress from fireworks. Why is your dog scared of fireworks and how can you help it? Managing your dog and fireworks induced anxiety isn’t always as difficult as it may seem especially when you have a good guide to walk you through the process.
Additionally, understanding pet mannerisms is very important as it goes a long way to help you identify when your pet is scared.
Reasons Why Dogs Are Scared of Fireworks
They are Unpredictable.
People expect fireworks and firecrackers on celebration nights but for dogs, they do not come with a warning. Each time, the flashing lights and loud sounds appear different to the dog and they show up at irregular intervals making it impossible for pets to become accustomed to them.
Dogs Can Feel Trapped By Fireworks
During holidays it is practically impossible to avoid fireworks. As a result, if the loud noises activate a dog’s fight or flight response, the pet will attempt to flee the danger. Sadly, there is usually nowhere to flee to because the loud booms can be heard anywhere.
They Consider them as Threats
Fireworks are perceived as threats by many dogs due to the loud noise and the fact that the firework is not predictable. The dog’s flight mechanism is triggered as a result of this. Your pet may bark in response to the loud sound, hide, or run away. Panting, restlessness, whining, and pacing are other symptoms of anxiety that dogs can show.
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A dog’s phobia for these illuminations can sometimes be traced back to past experiences. If a dog was abused in the past, it may link loud noises or sounds with being mistreated. Perhaps a dog was frequently yelled at by its previous owners and it easily becomes tensed if it hears loud noises.
If you need tips to help your pet get rid of its fears, you can check here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/behavioral/c_dg_fears_phobia_anxiety
Predisposition Due to Genetics
Any dog breed is likely to be afraid of loud noises but certain breeds are more prone to firecrackers distress than others.
Breeds of dogs that are used for hunting were raised and bred in an environment with loud noises such as yelling and gunshots. These breeds may be far less prone to being triggered by firecrackers due to their biological makeup. Breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Pointers, and American Foxhounds are examples of breeds that are used for hunting.
How Do You Know Your Dog Is Tense During Fireworks?
Tension from fireworks does not cause long-term problems in pets, but it is usually very uncomfortable for the pet. Major signs of tension are; shaking, hiding, urination, salivation, seeking comfort, and trembling. Pets may become destructive and chew on furnishings or paw at carpet and rugs.
Top Tips For Reducing Your Dog’s Anxiety
When fireworks start your pet may become too agitated to eat, so feeding it first before it becomes nervous is important. When pets are afraid, they will try to flee, so make sure your home and garden are escape-proof.
Before the fireworks begin, find a safe, secluded spot and settle the dog. A comfortable den for your pet is an excellent way to give your dog a sense of safety and security.
During the Fireworks
Here are some steps to take:
Do Not Abandon Your Dog
If you leave your pet alone during the evening, they will become anxious, so stay with them.
Ensure that Your Pet is Entertained
Keep your pet occupied indoor to distract it from the noise. Engage it in reward-based training activities, or play games with them.
Reassure and Comfort It
Pets are exceptionally good at detecting how their owners are feeling, as a result, if you remain calm and positive they would most likely stay calm also. Punishing your pet for cowering and responding to fireworks will only make their fear worse.
Muffle The Sounds
Muffling the noises throughout the event is a simple way to treat dog anxiety. Switch on a background noise device or play some soothing music audible enough to drown out the sounds from the fireworks.
If the dog’s “safe place” is his cage, you can add a thick coat to the sides, top, and back and also play sounds or music for it. Make sure the dog can get out of the cage if it wants to.
Make Sure Your Dog is Tired or Exhausted.
A tired or exhausted dog is usually calm, so make sure it gets plenty of exercise before the celebrations begin. When the firecrackers or fireworks start, you want your pet to be as sleepy and tired as possible. A brisk stroll around the street might not suffice; consider jogging or playing catch in the park with your pet.
Consult a Qualified Veterinarian
If your pet’s phobia puts it at risk, speak to a veterinarian or even a certified vet behaviorist as to whether or not anxiety treatment for your dog is necessary.
These are some helpful tips to help you manage your dogs and fireworks. You can also find other tips on how to care for your dog here.
In this article, we have highlighted reasons why dogs are scared of fireworks, how you can know if your dog is tensed during fireworks, and top tips for reducing anxieties or stress. Don’t forget that if a dog is anxious about fireworks noises and display, it is a normal reaction. But you can try as much as possible to make your pet feel comfortable and happy. We hope you find this article informative? If so, please share it with your friends and other pet lovers.