Humans have enjoyed traditional Independence Day fireworks for centuries, but many dogs don’t see them the way we do. Oftentimes the booming noises, flashing lights, and smell of fireworks scares dogs and triggers their survival instincts to run away from the perceived danger. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to take the stress out of July 4th for your furry friend and make the festivities fun for both of you. Read below to find out how!
Long-term Strategies to Acclimate Dogs to Fireworks
Dogs sense natural signs like high winds and barometric pressure to anticipate thunderstorms, but the sudden presence of people-made fireworks could surprise them. You can teach your dog to get used to fireworks and lots of other loud noises during his young puppy stage. Three weeks to three months is the ideal time to start. If he’s older, train him in a calm place to associate recorded fireworks sounds with positive rewards like treats and praise. Both of these methods take at least several months to complete, but it’s definitely worth the effort if you’re seeking lasting results.
Short-term Options to Help Dogs Feel Safe around Fireworks
Don’t have time to train your dog to be desensitized by fireworks? No worries! There are still several options you can take to manage your fur baby’s comfort during the “rocket’s red glare.” Have her spend the day with a friend, relative, or doggie daycare while you’re at the event. Or if she’s with you on vacation, create a special safe place for her to relax with a favorite toy at your vacation cottage. Closing the window blinds and playing calm music also helps.
Consider your dog wearing a calming coat if you decide to bring her with you. Make sure she wears proper identification if she runs away by happen chance. Most importantly, always act composed around your dog and refrain yourself from getting excited. Dogs communicate with body language and look to us as their pack leaders. When we’re calm, they relax because we’re telling them there’s nothing to be afraid of!
Find Out When the Fireworks are Scheduled
While some dogs don’t even flinch at loud booming noises like fireworks and gunfire, others may appreciate the extra help to assure them of their safety. If your dog experiences the latter, give these tips a try!
Be sure to check out the times and days that fireworks are scheduled in your area ahead of time. The Town of Nags Head is known for hosting spectacular firework displays from a fishing pier. Attendees can learn more about it here. We hope you and your furry family members enjoy a happy and stress-free Independence Day!
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