How can I help a dog that is scared of fireworks? October 25, 2018 07:23
Do not despair, there are ways to deal with this. We know this can be a year round problem depending on where you are, not just Bonfire Night which seems to last from the end of October to mid-November, but also New Years Eve, Diwali, American Independence Day and Chinese New Year. That’s not including one off’s, weddings and birthdays. It is all excellent fun for most, but not a terrified animal.
Forty percent of dogs are scared of those loud bangs. The unnatural noise triggers their flight response, as they perceive it as a threat. If they cannot actually escape, they will feel trapped and therefore panic even more.
You will recognize these signs of stress and panic in your dog, including excessive panting, drooling, shaking, yawning, pacing, barking, hiding, refusing food, tucking their tails between their legs.
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Here is what you can do right now, as it is happening to try and help. Make sure doggo has his I.D. tag on, a scared dog may bolt. Make a safe place, a den, full of comfort and toys, maybe cloths with your scent on. Cover the crate if you use one to make it extra safe feeling.
Close all windows and curtains play music to try and muffle the noise. Distract the dog by introducing a new toy or game, put a favourite snack paste in a Kong.
If you yourself act concerned, the dog will pick up on it and decide that there really IS reason to panic, so act normal. Do not over react to their fear as it may have the opposite effect to calming them, it may re-enforce the fear.
If you have had some time to prepare, 80% of people who bought a thunder shirt reported that it did help. It works by applying gentle pressure to the dog’s torso, releasing calming hormones. Make sure you walk your dog before the celebrations kick in.
If you are at the puppy stage, you can buy CD’s containing all manner of noises, by gradually increasing the volume over time, you may be able to de-sensitize your pup for when he faces unexpected pops and bangs.
If your animal has extreme anxiety, it is possible that a vet can recommend a drug treatment. On the plus side, some shops are starting to sell noise free fireworks so you and pup might even be able to enjoy them together.
You can always grab one of our personalised blankets for your dog to snuggle up in during those stressful times.