With New Years coming just tomorrow, it’s easy to get yourself psyched up for the coming fresh start: through partying, fireworks, and a good time with family a friends. We all know that most dogs don’t like fireworks. Dog and fireworks aren’t a natural combination, so keep these facts in mind:
1. It’s Normal for Dogs to Feel Afraid
When your dog hears the first shot of fireworks shoot off and runs to bury his head underneath your chair, don’t worry. It’s easy for us to forget how strange fireworks are because we are so used to them. However dogs and fireworks aren’t a natural pairing, so they can’t prepare for them. The sound is louder to dogs than it is to humans and your dog doesn’t even know what is making the sound.
We expect the sound around other big national holidays in the US. We also expect not only one explosion, but for them to happen again and again. Dogs and fireworks are foreign ideas to one another and they cannot predict when they will start or stop or what they will do when they explode so for every firework that goes off, your dog is likely to be startled again because he wasn’t expecting it.
3. Not All Dogs Are Afraid of Fireworks
Just like humans, dogs are individuals with their own set of fears and personality quirks. Just as some dogs can swim and some dogs can’t, some dogs are afraid of fireworks and others aren’t. For dog safety, pet parents should avoid making assumptions about how their dogs and fireworks will respond to one another. Never force a dog to be near fireworks if you don’t know how they will respond. It puts your dog, you, and anyone nearby at risk of danger as even the most even-tempered dog can be unpredictable in circumstances like this.
4. Dog Senses Make Fireworks More Intense
Dogs and fireworks are different because of your dog’s acute sense of hearing. Dogs are not only more sensitive to the sound of fireworks, but often respond to the smell of gunpowder and other burning odors that fireworks create making their experience with fireworks far more intense than our own.
5. Fireworks Do Not Equal Thunderstorms
Most dogs have a hard time with thunderstorms, but they’re at least able to get a warning that the storms are coming through barometric pressures, high winds, and static electricity in the air. Fireworks come without warning which can intimidate dogs more and make dogs and fireworks less compatible.
6. Create a Safe Space to Help Your Dog
When you know that fireworks are coming and you don’t know how your dog will respond, one for the best things you can do is create a safe space for your dog to experience fireworks in. This doesn’t mean putting them anywhere near the fireworks, but instead, use a crate, dim room, or one of their other favorite places, and place familiar blankets and favorite toys around them. This can help ease the experience of your dogs and fireworks while also lessening the stimuli around them.
Dogs feed off of the emotions around them, especially the emotions of their pet parents. If you know fireworks are coming and you’re aware of how your dogs and fireworks don’t get along, don’t let yourself become uneasy too. Instead, stay calm and avoid making a fuss or seeming anxious yourself. Also try playing with your dog in a safe area. This can help your dog by associating games and his favorite things with an otherwise negative event. If repeated, you may be able to remove your pet’s anxiety overtime when it comes to how they respond to fireworks.