Most people love watching fireworks, especially around New Years. The beautiful bright colors contrasting against the night sky are a perfect way to celebrate. Or so we would think, but our furry friends are less likely to agree.
Dogs are often afraid of fireworks due to their loud noise, the smell of smoke and their unpredictable timing. As dog owners we cannot forget that dogs have a heightened sense of smell and hearing, meaning that fireworks can be very overwhelming for them. Since fireworks are also such a rare occasion, dogs have difficulty getting used to them and it is likely that they will grow more anxious each time.
There are two main ways a dog will react to fireworks, and this is based on the fight or flight response. They may either start barking or will try to find a space to hide. They may also show signs of anxiety such as panting, whining or restlessness. There are also dogs who may not react to the fireworks at all.
What can I do if my dog is afraid?
If your dog does suffer from anxiety or fear from fireworks, there are several ways to help them. First, you should keep them inside and with the windows closed, since this will muffle the sound as much as possible. You should try to create a safe space inside the house where the least sound is heard and put their basket or blankets here. You might also put on some calming music and make sure your dog has had exercise before, so they are tired. Remember to remain calm yourself, since dogs can pick up on human emotions and this will help them calm down as well. Lastly, you can give them a relaxing medication. This can either be an anxiety medication such as Alprazolam (a Xanax) or you may prefer the natural route of CBD oil for dogs.
Just remember that even though we may love looking at fireworks, it is possible your dog is afraid, and you can try to comfort them with the ways mentioned above.
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