I WANT TO HELP MY DOG WITH LOUD NOISES
HOW TO HELP YOUR DOG COPE WITH FIREWORKS OR THUNDERSTORMS
Tips to help your dog cope with fireworks season
It is very common for dogs to be fearful of loud noises, including fireworks and thunderstorms. While a certain degree of fear during big bangs is normal to keep dogs from danger, it becomes very stressful for you and your dog when this fear is extreme.
How will you know if your dog is terrified by fireworks? Look at what your dog is saying to you. Look for: ears back, excessive panting, drooling, shaking, hiding, barking excessively…
So what can you do?
You can help your dog tolerate the noise with a gradual desensitization program. This must be in an "off season" for best results. That means exposing your dog to sounds of fireworks, day after day, increasing the volume progressively, and rewarding your dog when he manages to calm down. This can take quite a long time, so better to do it long before or after firework season.
A few days before anticipated events, there are still many things you can do!
The best way to prepare dogs for fireworks is to think like a dog. They feel scared as they are alarmed by the loud noises of the fireworks but do not understand that fireworks cannot harm them. That’s why they feel safer when they have a hiding space. You can make your dog a ‘safe haven’ or a ‘dog den’. If your dog already has a hiding place then this space can be used making it as snug and secure for your dog as possible by adding blankets or bedding.
If you are making your ‘dog den’ from scratch, try to do this a few weeks in advance so that your dog knows it is a safe place when fireworks start.