While we humans think creating loud noises and fiery explosions is fun, our furry friends may less impressed with firework events. In fact, our pets, especially dogs, can be quite fearful of fireworks and will act out in many ways, from running away to shaking uncontrollably, as a result of their anxiety. However, don’t give up your firework celebration just yet; there are several things you can do to make your pets less stressed.
- This takes a bit of advance planning, but expose your pets to loud noises at an early age. This technique is often used in training for hunting dogs so that they will not be spooked by gunfire.
- Start with a few fireworks; if your pet does not seem afraid or only shows very mild anxiety, continue on. You don’t want to project your anxiety onto the animal! These types of easy-going pets will get used to the noise very quickly and just go about their business. If they are rambunctious with excitement, exercise them earlier in the day and make sure to have them in a safe area far from the fireworks.
- If your pet is afraid of the noises, keep it inside where it cannot run away. Sometimes the close confines of a kennel will appeal to a dog’s canine instincts and make it feel more secure. Draw the curtains and turn on the TV or radio to mask the tell-tale sights and sounds of your firework show.
- If you are treating yourself to a stash of fireworks, don’t forget to give a little goodie to your dog. A new toy or treat to keep may just keep them distracted enough that the show can go on.
- Make sure that a collar with ID tags is being worn in case of a worst-case, run-away scenario. If the fear of fireworks problem persists, seek the advice of your vet who may be able to offer anxiety medications or other behavioral tips.