Fireworks are uncommonly and audibly loud, which may be triggering for your pet in addition to being unavoidable during certain events like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. You may find it difficult to treat or help your dog with his anxiety as a direct result of the constant popping and crackling outside.
Canine anxiety is an overwhelming nervousness or stress that is sometimes debilitating in extreme cases. When your dog has anxiety, it can spawn a wide range of symptoms. Its response can be uneasy and nervous – fearful, sporadic spasms or a fixated lack of movement are just two of the ways that your pet might express anxiety.
Severe reactions to fireworks or thunderstorms can be running off in fear, erratic or uncontrollable behavior – sometimes in the presence of dangerous objects – or destroying everything around them. Sometimes, fireworks can even trigger a longer reaction to loud noises or unwillingness to leave the house.
As fireworks pose as a psychological stressor in the case that your dog acts up when they occur, helping eliminate the noise through a variety of techniques can calm or distract the dog in the meantime.
Playing white noise is one example of how you can tune out loud bangs from fireworks for your dog. Make sure that no other loud noises, like TV or music with loud bass, is playing. There are also soundtracks created by veterinarians and other specialists specifically for dogs to calm their nerves with soothing sounds, proven to help block out other loud noises when running.
Create a Safe Space
Another option is to put your dog inside the house rather than outside with the kids. By letting your dog stay in a sound-insulated room, typically filled with soft or large objects to drown out the louder acoustics that may make a room echo, fireworks are much harder to hear.
Make sure that the doors, windows, and curtains are closed when bringing your dog inside. This creates a sense of security for your pet, and also gives him or her a sense of personal space.
Wraps and Blankets
Wraps and blankets can help your dog feel snuggly and safe. Bring some to help create this safe space for your dog.
If you don’t have a pressurized blanket or wrap, bandages, towels, or sweatshirts can be tied around your dog. By adding pressure to all parts of the dog’s body – kind of like a hug – it’s easier for your dog to feel less alone and may help minimize the anxiety he might feel.
Do take note to not coddle or try comforting your dog by constantly touching or petting. Instead, keep your dog company and talk to your pet in a calming, soft voice.
Why is this? If you’re acting strangely or out of the ordinary yourself, it might startle or frighten your pet even more. By continuing to act like nothing’s wrong, your pet might be able to adapt to the situation and lay off the scariness of loud noises.
While it may be difficult, distractions can help your dog either realize that fireworks aren’t a bad thing, or may get his mind off the loud noises surrounding the area. By giving your pup some treats as a reward, playing games indoors, or bringing out toys, your dog might respond positively and associate fireworks with other positive things. If the firework booms and bangs are already less audible, it might be easier to distract your dog with these things since they are so minimal in the space.
Know what works best for your dog. If your dog is extremely motivated by food, a multi-step toy-and-treat combo could work well. If your dog does best when moving around, tricks and simple commands can work like a charm. Be sure not to add other things that may increase your dog’s anxiety, likewise. For example, if strangers or new environments are frightening to your dog, it might be best to stay away from similar environmental or external factors.
Exercise or Energy Release
If prepping for a known event like July Fourth or New Year’s Eve, where there will definitely be fireworks, exercise is a great preventative method for doggy anxiety. By helping release serotonin, the chemical is sure to make your pup feel great and relieve tensions in its body.
The energy release that comes with exercise therefore reduces nervousness or anxiety that might be easier to occur in a more pent-up, restless state. After running around and getting the built-up energy out of your dog’s system during the day, it’ll be easier to calm and soothe your dog if a panic attack occurs during the firework show.
Canna-Pet® For Dog Anxiety
A recent study by Colorado State University found that among those with an opinion, 83.2% of Canna-Pet® customers reported that our hemp products relived their pet’s anxiety a moderate amount or a great deal.
Donna Butler shares her experience using Canna-Pet® as an anti-anxiety for her dog Miles, who is paralyzed from the waist down after being diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy:
“He was starting to get real anxious. He was starting to react to loud noise in a way that he never had.”
Butler asked her veterinarian for something that would calm Miles’ anxiety. Her doctor, Angie Stamm, DVM, went with Canna-Pet as a natural remedy for dog anxiety.
“He’s just much more content,” Butler says. “He’s just much more stable.”