If you've seen your pets cower during thunderstorms, they're not alone. Many dogs suffer from a phobia of loud noises, and the bright flashes of light that accompany fireworks can add to their stress and anxiety.
When the fireworks start, it's best for your pup to call it a night. Providing a safe, quiet place for him to chill out is one of the best ways you can give your dog a happy holiday.
There are steps you can take so that the explosions have less of an effect on your pup. Here are some dos and don'ts to help manage your pet’s stress and ensure their safety during fireworks season:
Do leave them indoors with the windows closed and curtains drawn to help muffle loud noises. If they’re crate trained, shutting them inside the crate and covering it with a blanket might provide an added sense of security and safety. If you have a basement that they can be in safely out of earshot of the fireworks, this might be your best option.
Do make sure they get plenty of exercise earlier in the day to expend extra energy that could add to their anxiety when the fireworks start going off.
Do check your fencing to make sure there aren’t any openings through which your pet could escape when you let them out to do their business.
Do make sure they are wearing a properly fitted collar and tags with up-to-date information, just in case they manage to run away. More pets go missing on the Fourth of July as a result of anxiety, so it is critical to take every precaution to avoid them from running away.
Do provide a fun distraction, such as a favorite chew toy or toy filled with their favorite treat, to occupy their attention while fireworks go off.
Do put the TV or radio on to help drown out the sounds. Music with gentle sounds are typically best to help ease their anxiety.
- Don’t let your pet tag along to a fireworks display — no matter how much you’d love for them to be there.
- Don’t act any differently or acknowledge their fear. It will only reinforce their anxious behavior.
- Don’t let them off of their leash outside of a fenced-in area during fireworks season. If they get spooked, they could run off and end up getting lost.
Remember, animals have a much more sensitive sense of hearing than humans, so those already loud booms to you are much more frightening to them. 🐱🐶
Dos and Dont’s adapted from an article by Jean Marie Bauhaus for HillsPet.com