Is your dog afraid of fireworks? Don’t make these mistakes

Summer is coming and the 14th of July fireworks with it. That means lots of fun, parties, camping, by the sea, but also…. fireworks. Although these can be so beautiful, many dogs and other animals are afraid of fireworks. Does it affect your dog too? He/she is definitely 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 he is anxious!

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

Don’t ignore your dog

Unfortunately, this is still regularly recommended. The hypothesis is that if you pay attention to a dog when it is anxious, you are actually rewarding it for its “unwanted” behavior. If there is one thing you take away from this blog, I want it to be this. You can NOT reward fear. That’s 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 necessary for survival are activated. So your dog is really not in a hurry to “oh, if I’m very anxious, then I get a lot of attention. Imagine your baby is 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 want to comfort your baby and provide reassurance, security and support. A “secure attachment” is extremely important for children’s, but also dog social development.If you ignore your dog when he needs you the most, the relationship between you and your dog will be broken.And since he is not used to this behavior (ignoring you) (I assume) he will start to chase you. then even more. So what to 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, pet do it slowly. Don’t comfort the dog too much or talk to him too much, as this can make him more nervous. And that bring That brings me to 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 partly 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 blasts and the surrounding noise. If everything is calm and suddenly a balloon bursts behind you, you will be shocked. If Metallica is playing loudly on the radio and the same balloon pops up behind you, it will have much less impact. Just make sure your dog doesn’t have a problem with the music itself. Research has shown that talk radio, podcasts or classical music can calm 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 also want to prevent the dog from escaping at all costs. Also, make sure he has his ID tags on and is chipped in case he runs away. 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. Vets, 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 to slip into his basket and hug 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 shouldn’t lock him in his cage.

Try to distract your dog by playing

If your dog is uncomfortable but not overly anxious, he can sometimes indulge in play. If so, you can distract him by playing. It also ensures that a positive experience is linked to 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 further the sound waves can propagate.

Don’t leave your dog alone

If you know your dog is afraid of fireworks, don’t leave him alone! Many dogs do this better if the owner is present. Your dog can also do 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 in which 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.

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