Summer season is here which means it’s time to think about keeping your dog safe during the many firework events this time of year. While my not-gun-shy, bird dog may be the exception, most dogs are not big fans of fireworks. Just imagine the world as you know going crazy with fire in the sky and startling loud noises – you would be freaking out and heading for the hills! Well, that’s exactly what happens to many pets. Dogs are frightened by the noise and light and try to run away, shaking or barking with anxiety, hiding, biting or act out in other ways. Really, can you blame them?
That’s why before a firework-fueled holiday comes on the calendar; you need to take some time to help your dog cope with the situation. Ideally, you could train your dog as a puppy to tolerate loud noises through selective exposure. However, this is not a reality for grown dogs or people without time to devote to training. More immediate actions can be taken to protect your pet during Fourth of July events and other firework shows.
First, make sure your dog is in a secure location when there will be nearby fireworks. Often a backyard will not suffice; a dog under extreme duress may dig under or jump over the fence to escape – think dog adrenaline! If you know your dog is frightened of noise, make sure that he remains inside during these events – and, actually, the dog will feel more secure kept in a kennel. As a precaution, double check to see that your pet’s collar tags are in place and up to date just in case he does get loose. If the fear of fireworks problem persists, seek the advice of your veterinarian who may be able to offer anxiety medications or other behavioral tips.