One highlight of New Year celebrations is without doubt the fireworks. The skies light up each year in an explosion of colour at around 9pm and again at midnight.
Whilst your excitement builds for the fun day ahead, have you considered how your dog will react to the fireworks tomorrow night? We have some quick tips so you and your precious pooch can have a stress free New Year’s eve.
Why are some dogs afraid of fireworks?
It’s true; not all dogs react the same way to fireworks. Their age, breed, and temperament, amongst other factors, could affect a dog’s behaviour and reaction to fireworks.
Fireworks trigger a dog’s nervous system by activating three canine senses that combine to cause fear:
- sight (bright, sudden lights)
- sound (loud noises at different frequencies)
- smell (burning/smoky smell).
The loud sound can be frightening, causing some dogs to run away from the noise, whilst other dogs will react to the ground vibrations caused by close range fireworks, especially when the vibration is followed by sudden booms, flashes and smoky smells.
With this in mind, it is easy to see how a fireworks display can be overwhelming for a dog.
So what can you do?
- Know your dog
You know your dog’s behaviour, likes and dislikes better than anyone. If your dog has reacted to fireworks in the past, prepare for New Year’s eve celebrations by keeping your dog inside, calm and distracted. If this is your first fireworks experience with your dog, watch them carefully, and provide comfort if they react negatively.
If your dog reacts negatively to fireworks, keep them inside with the windows covered so that bright lights and smoky smells are eliminated.
If the sound caused your dog to become destructive, make sure they are in a safe area so they cannot cause harm to themselves or others.
You can play music or leave the TV on for your dog as background noise, but be warned: most dogs will still hear fireworks that are a distance away.
You can also tire your dog out before fireworks begin, by playing games or exercising them physically and mentally. Check out some of our previous blogs for safe and fun game ideas. Tiring your dog out will help put them in a calm state.
If you are with your dog when the fireworks begin, be sure to talk to them in a soothing voice if they become anxious. Dogs take cues from us- so if we act anxiously they are likely to mimic nervous behaviour. Make sure you stay calm (almost uninterested in the fireworks commotion), to encourage your dog to remain calm also.
- Anxiety aids
There are a number of harnesses and coats available that are non-invasive solutions for reducing anxiety. There solutions are reusable, and some are machine washable, which make them great value; speak to a professional when fitting the correct size for your dog.
We have a number of products available at the doghouse- just contact our reception in the New Year to speak to our staff on their recommendation.
With the New Year less than 48 hours away, make sure you and your dog are prepared for the celebrations.
From the team at Doghouse Daycare and Grooming, we wish you a safe and happy 2018!