If your dog has a fear of fireworks, you may be struggling to think of ways through that night.
It’s really stressful, right?
It’s so tough to see your dog panic in this way.
However, this is your quick blast that says they don’t have to spend that night in fear!
There’s definitely a way to do that. Some of it takes a little time, but even if you’re not in time to train this year, there are still some things you can do.
Let’s have a looksee.
1 – Relaxopet
This is a really interesting one. I’ve still yet to test this one, but from a good friend (also in the industry!) that they do work. They’re a small, portable speaker type device – but they’re not going to be playing regular music to just drown out the sounds of the fireworks – nope!
So how do they work? They send microvibrations through the air, using sound, that’s absorbed in, through your dogs fur and skin that acts to relax them – insane, right?! But it seemingly works.
Using this, you can help to calm your dog in a whole different way.
2 – Vet Trip
Depending on the severity, you may want to go book a vet trip and discuss medications. I would always advocate for this if your dog gets severely stressed – but please don’t medicate your pet yourself!
I’d also recommend agreeing with your vet to do a test sooner rather than later and see if the prescription is a good fit for your dog!
3 – CBD
This is one of those zazzy new subjects that is kind of controversial, especially seen as some individuals believe it’s not legal.
Now… there is a fine line between cannabis, CBD and Hemp. Usually, this is the difference of the psychoactive component: THC. THC for your dog is illegal. But a ‘full spectrum’ hemp or CBD is legal.
If you want to go this route, I would try to test this out before you do, and it’s great to build them up, but I’ve got a much better guide on that here in CBD & Training Your Dog – A Comprehensive Guide (With Examples!)
4 – Toys
Do not underestimate the power of play.
When you’re too busy having fun? You cannot be scared at the same time.
So, if you can coax them into play you may well bridge them through the entire event – especially if their fear is more mild, or you use this as a part of a larger plan.
5 – Music
Music works in a couple of ways, not only can it help to give something new to focus on (and you can actually train calmness to certain music!!), but it can drown out the bangs. The bangs are a big part of why the fireworks are so problematic, so it can really help to play some music!
If you couple this with picking the right kind of music, it can be even better! One of my favourite places to go, is to Relaxmydog – whilst there are adverts – it’s got lots of long gentle, placating music that can help your dog feel more happy and secure.
6 – A den!
Now, this one gets differing opinions, and if you haven’t successfully crate trained, this could make it worse – however – a well crate-trained dog may find this really good. For example, Shelby, our Redbone coonhound, she loves her crate and if there is a thunderstorm on the horizon and she can feel it, she goes and nests herself down.
So, creating a quiet place, with plenty of soft surfaces to dampen the noise
Next year, invest in training through their fear of fireworks
Training is the only surefire way to overcome your dogs fear of loud noises. You may have to start from a low level, and break it down, and spend some time getting there – but it’s worth it so that you and your dog especially don’t have such an awful night(s) through this and other celebrations.
Did you know?
Fear of loud noises can be genetic! Technically, epigenetic, and it can pass from mother or father to puppies.
So if your dog is scared of fireworks, it might be a good idea to rule them out of breeding unless you do the work!
If you want to know a little more as to how to successfully desensitise your dog, read A Masterclass In Fireworks Success – For Shelby’s Fear-Free 4th Of July!
Fireworks don’t have to be scary!
They carry too much power for too many dogs, but we don’t have to have those nights.
I hope you found this helpful and there’s something in here that you can use to help you and your pup to get through this. I know it’s a lot for a lot of pets & pet parents. But this is something you can conquer together.
Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!