You may be Looking Forward to Fireworks but is Your Dog?
The 4th of July is just around the corner, and while you are looking forward to the fireworks at the end of the night your furry family member might not share excitement. Unfortunately a lot of dogs have a noise aversion to the sound of fireworks. What is a noise aversion? This basically means when your dog hears certain noises they become fearful and anxious. Some of the common signs of a mild noise aversion include panting, pacing, lip licking, yawning, salivating, whining, trembling, and hiding. These mild signs can worsen.
Dogs could eventually hurt themselves if they go untreated. The best solution is to plan ahead, consult with your veterinarian, and don’t wait until the situation becomes worse. Here are some tips on how to make your pup feel more comfortable during this stressful time, based on Fear Free guidelines
- Create a safe place! Make a spot in your home that your dog will feel safe. Many times this may be in a room without windows which may keep the sounds quieter. Your dog may go to a place like this naturally. You can help reinforce comfort by adding a bed, blankets, toys, and even treats! This may help to relieve some of the anxiety that your dog is feeling.
- Show your dog a way out of anxiety! This involves using positive reinforcement to teach the dog a new behavior to do when they are scared. The key to this method is consistency. You will have to work with your dog to teach them a new behavioral pattern to focus on instead of the loud noises occurring.
- Consult with your veterinarian and use a pharmaceutical! There are many drugs that are commonly used to treat dogs with noise aversions. After talking with your veterinarian, explaining the symptoms your dog is exhibiting, they will be able to recommend the best option for you and your pet.
Many of these tips need to be used together in order to see positive results with your dog during this stressful time. But most importantly you must remember never to punish your dog for feeling scared or anxious because that will only heighten their fear. Always try to provide comfort and a feeling of safety for both you and your pet to both have a great holiday this year!