If your dog has problems dealing with loud noises, it is probably going to be very stressed when Independence Day rolls around.
There are certain steps you can take to prepare your dog for the Fourth of July. These tips can help you keep your anxious pup calm throughout the night.
1. Avoid Fireworks Shows
While it might seem a bit obvious, you’ll want to make a point of not taking your dog to any fireworks shows. This will only drive them crazy with fear and anxiety. If you’re not sure about how it will react to the fireworks, you probably shouldn’t do this. The last thing you want to deal with is a panicky dock when you are trying to enjoy a nice fireworks display.
2. Keep it Calm Indoors
You should do everything possible to keep your dog calm indoors when all of the fireworks are going off outside. This means not playing any loud music and keeping the television at a reasonable volume. The more relaxed your home is, the easier it will be to keep your canine companion calm.
3. Do Not Reassure Your Dog
While it may be tempting to provide your dog with some reassurance by petting it, this is not a good idea. Most professional dog trainers advise against this, as it reinforces the dog’s idea that there is a real threat. The more you try to comfort your dog, the more worked up it is likely to become.
You can try to comfort your dog verbally in a soothing voice, but try to avoid petting it a lot. If your dog hears you speaking in a calm tone, they might relax a bit. You don’t want to act in an erratic way, as it could make your pet even more anxious than it already is.
4. Play Relaxing Sounds
There are tons of white noise apps that you can download on your smartphone or tablet to play relaxing sounds. This could help your dog stay calm when all the noise starts up outside. You might have to go through a few different sounds until you find one that your dog likes. This is actually a really effective method with most anxious pups.
5. Take Them For a Walk
You should also consider taking your dog for a walk before it starts getting dark outside. The more tired they are, the less likely they will be to get panicky when those loud noises begin. If you really tire them out, they might just end up sleeping through all of the fireworks.
6. Train Your Dog to Deal with Loud Noises
It is possible to train some dogs to deal with loud noises. You’ll want to start off slow by introducing them to mildly loud sounds and working your way up. Just make sure that you don’t accidentally damage their hearing.
You can try playing videos of fireworks displays on your phone or computer for your dog. It is a good idea to do this at least a few months before the Fourth of July. This way your dog will have time to get used to these sounds.
There are, however, some dogs that will always get anxious when they hear fireworks outside. The fact is that certain breeds are just more panicky than others. Your ability to do this largely depends on how trainable your dog is overall.
7. Enlist the Help of a Professional Trainer
If you are having problems with training your dog to handle loud noises, you might want to hire a professional trainer. While this can be fairly pricey, it is definitely worth the expense if it works.
Take the time to look for an experienced and qualified professional for these services. You should ideally look for someone who has worked with your breed of dog in the past multiple times.
8. Put an ID Tag on their Collar
If your dog ends up running away and escaping from the house because it is scared of the fireworks, you’ll want to have an ID tag on their collar. These tags don’t cost much money, and they will increase the chances of them returning home safely.
The ID tag on your dog’s collar should have their name as well as your address and phone number. This will make it easy for whoever finds your dog to get them back to you without much effort.
9. Play with Your Dog
Sometimes all it takes to keep an anxious dog calm is to play with them. Get one of your dog’s favorite toys and have some playtime. This could be enough to keep them distracted until all of the fireworks have stopped going off. You might even want to buy a new toy that you are confident your dog will enjoy playing with.
10. Close the Curtains
The bright lights of the fireworks combined with the loud noises they make can really send your dog spiraling. You’ll, therefore, want to make a point of closing the curtains so your dog cannot see what is happening outside. This could help to reduce their stress level at least a little bit.
- The loud noises that fireworks make can be extremely stressful for a lot of dogs, especially ones that already have problems with anxiety.
- Make sure that you keep the inside of your house as calm as possible with no loud noises that could further agitate your pup.
- You don’t want to pet your dog to reassure it, as this often has the opposite of the intended effect.
- Try playing relaxing sounds with a white noise app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Take your dog for a nice long walk before the fireworks begin. They may end up sleeping through all of the rackets.
- You can try training your dog to deal with loud noises better by slowly exposing them to these sounds over time.
- If you are having trouble training your dog to deal with loud noises, you might want to hire a professional trainer.
- Keep the curtains in your home closed to avoid making your dog’s anxiety even worse.