What to Do if a Dog Is Afraid of Storms and Fireworks
Whether on New Year's Eve or in any other important event, the fireworks that light up the sky are always fascinating. Unfortunately, many dogs do not perceive it this way: they groan, tremble, walk restlessly around the house and the nerves completely take over them. Read on to learn how you can calm your dog and prepare it for fireworks.
The change of the year is a real challenge for some people with dogs, since noisy rockets, multicolored firecrackers and fireworks can make even calm dogs nervous. While some only withdraw or seek protection by snuggling with their owner, others completely panic: they stop eating, are unable to react, tremble or start running scared. If your pet shows these symptoms you should intervene and help him overcome that fear as soon as possible. But how can you calm a dog with this type of reaction? Fireworks, after all, cannot be silenced by pressing a button.
Dogs with Leash
Avoiding walks is not a solution, you have to take your dog out. To keep your dog as calm as possible, it is best that they be in quiet areas during the day. For example, go for a walk with your dog in the countryside or the periphery of the city instead of in the center, where it is usual that the celebrations begin hours before the event. However, during these days you should always take your dog with the leash, since you can be surprised by the loud noise of a firecracker anywhere. Do not underestimate the danger of your dog running for fright because you may not find it again or even end up on a road with heavy traffic.
Come Home Together
As it gets dark the first firecrackers start to go off and that's when it's time to go home with your pet. Although the usual thing in most countries is to spend any event away from home, you should stay with your dog and not leave him alone in that stressful situation. In the case of especially nervous dogs, it is not enough that they can hide in a quiet room, at that time they need you close so that they feel secure.
Close Doors, Windows, and Shutters
The strong burst of fireworks cuts through the thick walls of your house. However, by closing the doors, windows and shutters you can muffle a bit the unknown and stressful sounds for the dog. Many dogs calm down remarkably in this way. Also, some react nervously to the bright flashes in the sky. Therefore, if your windows do not have shutters, you should at least draw the curtains.
Turn on the Radio or Music
In addition to closing the windows, you can try to drown out the noise of firecrackers with other sounds that the dog is familiar with. Play your favorite music or turn on the radio. Also, the noise of the television, the washing machine or the dishwasher can be used to reassure the dog. But don't be exaggerated with the volume, as this could even baffle you more.
Distract Dog with Special Smells or Snacks
Dogs that are not yet under such high levels of stress can sometimes be distracted by special smells or tasty snacks. In this way, the dog will be more focused on his sense of taste and smell than listening for sounds. Those dogs that have not lost their appetite for fear will also like to receive some special snacks, different from those of everyday life, which will make them forget the fireworks for a while.
The essential thing in all the measures mentioned above is that, whatever you do, stay calm and cool. Show your dog that everything is going well and that the noise coming from the street is normal. If you get nervous and restless, all the tips will be useless.