Is your dog afraid of fireworks? Do not make these mistakes

Summer is coming and July 14 the fireworks with. It means lots of fun, parties, camping, by the sea, but also…. fireworks. While these can be so beautiful, many dogs and other animals are afraid of fireworks. Does it also affect your dog? He / she is certainly not alone! Various studies have shown that approximately 49% of all dogs show at least one fear signal when they hear fireworks. A study from 2013 shows that approximately 25% of dogs are severely affected. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do now to make New Year’s Eve more enjoyable for your loyal friend.

Do not punish your dog if it is anxious!

You cannot reduce a feeling like fear by punishing it. Think about yourself and your own fears. If you’re scared because you can not escape a giant spider or a swarm of wasps, will you be less scared if I start yelling at you and slapping you? I do not think so … Besides, you break the bond of trust and add unpleasant stimuli to an already very unpleasant situation. This can only aggravate your dog’s fear response at that point. What he certainly does not want to do is remove his fear. On the contrary.

Do not ignore your dog

Unfortunately, this is still recommended regularly. The hypothesis is that if you pay attention to a dog when it is anxious, you are actually rewarding it for his “unwanted” behavior. If there is one thing you take away from this blog, I would like it to be this one. You can NOT reward fear. This is not how your dog’s brain works. When your dog is anxious, it goes into survival mode. When you are in survival mode, all the processes needed to survive are activated. So your dog is really not in a hurry with “oh if I’m very anxious I get a lot of attention. Imagine your baby crying because he’s just been scared. A balloon exploded next to him or a very scary clown stood next to him (I’m not afraid of clowns) I really hope your answer is NO.You will comfort your baby and provide security, safety and support.A “safe attachment” is extremely important for children but also dog social development.If you ignore your dog when he needs you most, the relationship between you and your dog will be broken, and since he is not used to this behavior (I assume), he will start chasing you, so even more.So what should you do? Support your dog with your presence.If your dog feels more comfortable resting his head on your shoe or lap, allow it.If your dog likes it, then caress it slowly. Do not comfort the dog too much or talk too much to him as it may make it more nervous.And it brings me t il my next point.

Stay calm!

Dogs are social animals and look for information in their environment among their family members. If you stay calm, your dog will partially copy it. If you are also nervous and tense, this can confirm to your dog that there really is something to worry about.

Turn on the radio or television at normal volume.

This is to reduce the contrast between the bangs and the ambient noise. If everything is calm and suddenly a balloon bursts behind you, you will be shocked. If Metallica plays loud on the radio and the same balloon pops up behind you, it will have much less impact. Just make sure your dog has no problem with the music itself. Research has shown that talk radio, podcasts, or classical music can soothe dogs in a kennel environment. But dogs are individuals and develop their own preferences, dogs are known to have a better effect of reggae, lounge or even Metal 😉.

Close windows, doors and curtains.

We want to exclude as much noise and light as possible. We will also at all costs prevent the dog from fleeing. Also, make sure he has his ID tags on and is chipped if he escapes. Also check with the DogID chip database if your chip information is public, so that you, the owner, can be located and contacted more quickly. Veterinarians, shelters and police will always have access to your contact information

Plan escape routes in the house

As humans, we are often tempted to sit around the dog when it is very scared. Or slipping into his basket and hugging him tight. However, this limits the dog’s ability to escape and can make the fear worse. So make sure your dog always has the choice to move wherever he wants in the room. It also means you should not lock him inside his cage.

Try to distract your dog by playing

If your dog is uncomfortable but not overly anxious, it can sometimes indulge in play. If so, you can distract him by playing. It also ensures that a positive experience is associated with the fireworks.

Rooms with few windows are generally preferred.

Dogs often prefer the bathroom or basement during fireworks. This is because there are usually small windows or no windows in these rooms. The larger the window, the longer the sound waves can propagate.

Do not leave your dog alone

If you know your dog is afraid of fireworks, do not leave him alone! Many dogs do this better if the owner is present. Your dog may also be doing some very crazy things in his panic. He can seriously injure himself or destroy objects in the house while trying to escape.

Do not give medicines where acepromazine is the active substance!

Some dogs may need medical support, but whatever you give, DO NOT give acepromazine.

I have many other tips to ease your dog’s fear of fireworks, but more importantly, I can teach you how to help your dog overcome this fear. For next year you can enjoy the new year together, or you can celebrate the new year somewhere else. How? With the help of my brand new online mini-course. You will go through it in about 2 hours and then you will be armed with all the knowledge you need to make a difference for your dog.

Leave a Comment