Who doesn’t enjoy a great fireworks show on New Year’s Eve? I LOVE fireworks, but there is at least one category who isn’t exactly fond of them. In fact, a lot of people with dogs all across the world declare this day the worst day of the year for their dogs.
Terrified and quivering, they are nothing like their regular selves. “It is natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises” – writes the famous dog therapist César Millán. “The sounds trigger their nervous systems, and they can become anxious or afraid. Running away from the noise is a survival instinct.” At least there are some things you, pack leader, can do to help your dog during fireworks shows.
Tire your dog out. Enjoy some training time together before the fireworks display. Play fetch or take her out for a long walk. Remember: a good doggy workout should last between 30 minutes and two hours. A tired and well-fed dog will be less anxious during the night.
Create a Safe Space
Humans are not the only ones who may need a safe place. Avoid taking your dog out when a firework display is likely to go off. Keep her inside, preferably with some human companionship. There, she can hide in a travel kennel if she’s crate trained. Otherwise, give your dog options about where to hide if she feels like it. Even some blankets can be a good retreat.
Draw the Curtains
It’s not only the sound of fireworks that may stress your dog out. She’s also freaked by the sudden bursts of light across the sky. Close your windows, your shutters, and your blinds. Keeping the light on may also reduce the sudden overstimulation of your dog’s eyes.
You can also try to keep your pet friend busy: play games with her, and, yes, spoil her. Yummy treats are perfect when fireworks start. A long-lasting chew is even better. But try not to be too pushy: sensitive dogs may be too scared to even take food.
Your Dog Loves Music. Really.
Turn the music on. There are several studies on the effects of music on dog behavior. Slow-tempo music with simple patterns and low frequencies is ideal. It will make New Year’s Eve a less stressful experience for your pet. And, yes, we’ve got you covered.
Your Vet Can Help
If your dog is still stressed out, chewing furnishings or making attempts to run away, consult your vet. Both medication and a behavioral management plans can be of great help.
Fireworks shows are frightening for dogs. Follow our tips to keep them calm and safe. My doggo and I wish you all a happy and dog-friendly New Year’s celebration!