Dogs and Fireworks
My Shiba Inu, Huggins, has always had a fear of fireworks. On her first 4th of July, she managed to crawl her way into our in-laws’ couch to try to hide from the noise. Already this year, as people are shooting off their preliminary 4th of July fireworks, I find her whining and shrieking at the louder ones. And let’s face it, fireworks are not just confined to the Independence Day celebrations… You can hear them throughout the summer months. So what can you do to help calm your dog’s anxiety about fireworks? Here are a few tips.
• Prepare your dog for the noise of fireworks. You can go to dogsandfireworks.com to download a free mp3 of fireworks. Gradually increase the volume as you play the noise for your dog. Associate it with fun by playing a game of fetch or giving the dog a treat while the firework soundtrack plays. If your dog begins to react adversely to the volume level, don’t push her beyond her comfort level.
• Don’t react to the noise of fireworks yourself. You might find yourself wanting to coddle your dog if he or she reacts to the booms. Just act normal and go about your routine, or do something fun with your dog to get his mind off the noise.
• Don’t leave your dog outside if fireworks are being set off. And NEVER take your dog to a fireworks display.
• A Thundershirt may give your dog a sense of security. Click here to read my blog on the Thundershirt!
• In extreme cases, your veterinarian may have to prescribe a tranquilizer to put your dog at ease during firework season.
Hopefully, these tips will help you have a calm dingo throughout the summer of fireworks! Have a safe and enjoyable holiday! And thank you to all of our service men and women who continue to keep the United States the “land of the free and the home of the brave!”
written by Maria, “Mama Dingo”