Dogs & Fireworks
It is a well known fact that on the Fourth of July in the United States, more dogs are lost or run away from their home than on any other day of the year. The reason is the sounds of fireworks can be extremely terrifying for a dog. The experience of sudden loud noises and flashes of light is highly foreign for them and it can trigger their “flight in the face of danger” instinct.
Fireworks VS Thunderstorms
Some people might think that fireworks and thunderstorms are similar experiences for a dog, but it’s not the case. Thunderstorms are natural events that arrive with precursor signs that dogs can sense and recognize helping them prepare for it. But Fireworks come without warning and are man-made so neither their sounds or smells are familiar to our furry friends. Fireworks are also closer to the ground so they create more vibration along with the loud noises and our dogs are not prepared for these sudden bangs and booms and all those flashes of light. Remember that the senses of our four legged friends are a lot more sensitive than ours! What is loud for us is extremely loud for them.
So What Can You Do?
You Have -3- Choices:
Should you take your pooch with you to the fireworks? Will he be ok if you leave him at home alone? And are there things you can do to prepare him for all the noise and chaos surrounding the festivities of the Fourth of July?
1-Take Your Dog To A Friend’s House
If you can, the best thing to do is to take the dog as far away as possible from the area where the fireworks will happen. As we all know, dogs are creatures of habits and anything that disrupt their normal routine can & will create stress, so a familiar place is better, as it will eliminate the anxiety of having to adapt to a new person or a new environment. If you have a friend or a family member who is acquainted with your dog, who lives away from the celebrations and would accept to take him in for the night, that would be the best case scenario.
2-Leave Your Dog At Home
If you leave your dog at home, do leave him in his crate but be sure to give him the walk of his life or take him to the park and play till he drops before putting him in it, this will help burn off some of his extra energy and will help him stay calm. If you really tire him out good, he might very well just sleep through the whole thing. Don’t forget that your dog will need to go out and do his business every 5hrs or so, so have someone you trust take care of that for you while you are out celebrating the Fourth of July with family and friends.
3-If You Must Take Him With You…
It is possible to desensitize a dog to the sounds of fireworks. You can do so by playing sounds that simulates fireworks in moments when your dog is happy and enjoying himself for example when he is eating or playing and receiving affection. This would help your pup interpret these sounds as something good, something positive. But nothing replaces the real thing and you can never be sure of how your dog will react during fireworks. So if you must have your dog with you to the spectacle be absolutely certain he is well identified with his collar and tag and leashed properly. Keep him near you at all time and never let go or loosen your grip on the leash, otherwise you might well become part of the sad statistic.