Everyone knows a dog that hates fireworks, it is such a common issue and can be very difficult to fix or just deal with. Coming up to New Years Eve I have some tips and tricks to help make the event more enjoyable for your best friend.
- Take your dog for a big walk earlier in the day, try and get all of that extra energy out that may make their anxiety worse hopefully if you give them enough exercise they will sleep through the event
- Close the windows doors and blinds or curtains so the sound is slightly muffled, it also helps them not to see any flashes
- Leave your lights on so the light flashes are not as noticeable
- Turn on a radio or television so the fireworks blend into sounds they are used to
- Give them toys to distract them, a Kong filled with something very yummy is a great distraction tool.
- Don’t make a big fuss over the dog this will only reinforce something scary is happening, a few calm reassuring words and a pat will do.
The best way to avoid your dog or puppy from developing a fear of fireworks or to help dogs already scared of fireworks is desensitization. Slowly introducing your dog to the idea that fireworks are not threating will allow them to eventually be able to just brush them off with out a care in the world.
My favorite way to desensitize dogs to fireworks or storms is with YouTube, because it is slightly dangerous/impossible to recreate fireworks and storms at home YouTube makes an excellent substitute as it also gives you control of the volume.
Just search for a video of a fireworks display put it on a low volume and play with your dog as normal. Slowly increase the volume as your dog is calm if they start to worry turn the volume down this can be a slow process, don’t rush it! Make sure you make the whole experience enjoyable play fetch or give them some treats when they are not bothered by the sound but don’t make a huge fuss if they start to get anxious just calmly turn the volume down and continue to play as normal until you feel like you can turn the volume up again.