Does your dog get scared when they hear the sound of fireworks? You’re not alone!
Studies show that many breeds of dogs are naturally afraid of loud noises – particularly thunder and fireworks. Their highly sensitive ears allow them to hear sounds louder than humans and triggers their nervous system which causes anxiety and fear. And what’s everyone’s initial response to fear? To run away.
If you know there are going to be fireworks happening nearby on a certain day (Christmas/NYE are an obvious one), it’s important to think about how you can minimise your puppy’s panic – and ensure they won’t try to run away while you’re out celebrating. We’re here to help!
1. Provide a safe place for them to hide out.
Keeping your dog inside your house is the most obvious way to prevent them from running away when fireworks are on. If you’re going out and are not comfortable leaving them inside, take them to the house of a friend they know and are comfortable around.
If neither of these is an option and you’re not planning to be out very long, keeping your dog inside a large backyard shed or enclosed area will prevent them from trying to jump or squeeze through your fence and injuring themselves.
2. Tire them out with exercise.
Taking your dog for a long walk or play in the park before a night of fireworks is a good idea, as it will make them more tired and less likely to want to bolt when the loud festivities begin.
3. Distract them with food and toys.
For some dogs, food or toys will help keep their mind off the cracking and whipping sounds coming from the sky. Stuff their favourite treat food into a kong and put it in their kennel or enclosed area, or lay out some of their favourite toys for them to play with or cuddle for comfort.
4. Make sure they are wearing an ID tag.
If the worst case scenario does come true, and your dog manages to escape your backyard, the most important thing is for them to be wearing a properly fitting collar with a pet ID tag. If your fluffy friend has lost pet tags before, microchipping might be an idea to look into.
5. Get them used to the noise before NYE comes around.
While some dogs may never adjust to the sound of fireworks, using preparation techniques might improve your dog’s comfortability slightly.
Play a recording of fireworks sporadically when out on walks or around the house to help your precious pup adjust to the noise. Playing it while feeding, bathing or giving your pet affection and cuddles will help them interpret it as something that’s not necessarily bad or scary, but just happens.
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