Do New Year’s Eve fireworks put your dog in a panic? You are not alone.
The sounds of celebration can stress out canines. In fact, many dog owners report their dogs show stress could be due to noise, such as fireworks.
For starters, owners should stay calm if a pup goes crazy during fireworks. Soothing, picking up and holding a dog tight can help.
Here are some common tips to help keep your pet calm and happy:
- Try to exercise your pet earlier in the day.
- Keep your pet inside during fireworks.
- Provide a safe place inside for your pet to retreat. When scared of sounds pets cannot orient very well. If your pet is happy in a crate, that is a great option.
- Covering the crate can also help. Removing visual stimulation can calm most pets.
- Make sure your pets are wearing ID on a properly fitting collar or harness, in case they escape.
- Give them something fun to do – like a frozen treat.
- Sound therapy is most effective when you first play music before the fireworks start, at a time the dog is already feeling peaceful and relaxed. They will begin to associate the music with being calm and content.
You can hold your companion if they will safely allow you, and talk to them in a calm, reassuring voice. For more serious sound phobias, call your vet to see if there may be a medication that can help relieve your pet’s fear.
Remember that fireworks can be dangerous. With the COVID-19 pandemic this year, we all know about social distancing, but please embrace “fireworks distancing.” There is a great risk when setting off fireworks by yourself, instead of allowing a professional to handle them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported thousands of visits to emergency rooms due to fireworks injuries, mostly to the hands, legs and face. CPSC reports an average of 12 people die each year from fireworks.
If you are going to use fireworks:
- Keep a bucket of water or water hose on and ready to put out duds and soak fireworks before throwing them away.
- Keep lighters, matches, and fireworks away from young children to avoid unintentional burns.
- Do not drink alcohol because it slows reaction time and affects judgement.
- Wear closed-toed shoes.
- Designate one person to ignite. Everyone else should watch as far away as possible or inside watching through a window.
- Stay on concrete or pavement. Dry grass can burn easily.
Better yet, leave fireworks to the pros and spare your neighbor’s dog potential trauma.