Expert Advice on How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Calm Through All of the Summer Fireworks
With firework sales and firework noise complaints on the rise across the United States, many dog owners are looking for safe ways to keep their dogs calm during summer fireworks
It's already summer and nearly the Fourth of July, which means America is in the midst of fireworks season.
While major annual firework shows across the country are being adjusted due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Business Insider, individual firework sales and firework noise complaints are on the rise across the United States.
For dog owners, this could mean managing their canines' fireworks-induced stress even more than in summers past. To help pooch parents safely keep their pets' anxieties to a minimum, Dr. Terri Bright, the lead dog behaviorist at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, has come up with a few expert tips to make life a little easier for dogs and dog owners this fireworks season.
1) Understand how sensitive a dog’s ears are, and help them by drowning out the noise. Find a quiet, comfortable area for your pet indoors and turn on the TV or radio to help reduce the ability for them to hear the fireworks. This includes making sure all windows, screens, and doors are closed tightly. Dr. Bright suggests other technologies, such as the "Celestial Sounds" YouTube channel or the “SimplyNoise” app, can offer an array of soothing sounds to drown out the stress-inducing external noise of fireworks.
2) Spend as much time exercising your dog during the day as you can, so that when the fireworks start at night, they may be too tired to be stressed by it.
3) Offer your dog new puzzle toys and treats to play with and distract them from the sounds outside the house. If dogs prefer to hide with they get scared, make sure they have a safe and secure hideaway in a closet that they can access easily
4) Even if your dog does not have a history of fear over fireworks and loud sounds, do not be complacent if they are outside with you. Make absolutely sure they cannot get out of their harness or collar should they panic. A panic attack can happen suddenly in a pet’s life, even when it has not happened in the past. Sadly, many dogs become lost after running away from loud noises like fireworks. For this reason, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggests making sure your dog's ID info is up to date, in case they do escape your grasp during a fireworks incident.
5) As a last resort, consult your veterinarian, who can prescribe a sedative to help dogs get through a night of fireworks more comfortably