It is natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises, their acute hearing makes them more sensitive to the sounds of fireworks than you are. The sounds trigger their nervous systems, and they can become anxious or afraid.
Tell me more.
This festive season, the noise and unpredictability of fireworks leads many dogs to perceive them as a threat. This triggers their fight-or-flight response. Your dog may bark at the noises or try to run away and hide. They may show other signs of anxiety, too, like restlessness, panting, pacing, trembling and whining. This signifies an increase in heart rate, a rush of adrenaline, and an increase in stress hormones circulating through the body.
What you can do.
Create A Safe Place – Give your dog a safe indoor space to go when he’s scared. If he’s crate-trained, he probably already feels safest there. A table draped with a blanket is a great retreat, leave an opening with blankets inside to keep them cozy.
Close the Curtains – The bright, flashing lights of fireworks can also cause alarm. Your dog might feel more secure if you shut the blinds, curtains, or drapes.
Keep Them Inside – Avoid letting your dog outdoors at times when fireworks are likely to go off. This will prevent him from running away when he feels scared, which can put him in danger. Take your dog for a nice long walk well before dark. If your dog is particularly scared of fireworks, you may want to feed them early too, they tend to lose their appetite when they are stressed.
Desensitise – Start working with your dog in advance to desensitise him to fireworks and other loud noises. You can start this process by playing fireworks sounds found on Youtube on a low level while playing with your dog and giving him treats. Over time, slowly increase the sound of the fireworks during these play sessions. Eventually, your dog will associate the sound of fireworks with happy and fun moments.
Keep them Distracted – The sudden bang of fireworks can be masked by keeping a TV on, which can reduce the impact noises may have on your pet. Provide dogs with a long-lasting chew to help keep them distracted or their favourite toy to wrestle with.
Try Dog Anxiety Pills – Pills can help calm your dog’s nervous behaviour as a supplement to other precautions. They can relieve agitation and irritation.