Nothing says Happy Independence Day better than fireworks. The Independence Day celebrations are the epitome of the year for most people. A celebration of the freedoms and the rights we enjoy today. During the 4th of July celebrations, it is common to have fireworks blasting for extended periods. The beautiful mosaics the fireworks display using the night sky as their canvas is indeed a sight to behold, and many look forward to it throughout the year.
However, not everyone is jolly about the sounds and sight of these night explosives. Dog owners are the ones most likely to understand the toll the loud bangs and the flashing lights have on the pets. Dogs have a hard time coping with the fact that fireworks produce loud sounds and bright lights, something which they aren’t accustomed to. Dogs don’t just find the July 4th or any other holiday that has fireworks, normal; it frightens them.
So why do dogs become so freighted by this? Well, the main reason attributed to it is because of their heightened senses of sight and sound make it almost impossible to remain relaxed during the said event. The loud booms that the fireworks produce make the dogs to be alarmed. Another reason is the unpredictability of the sounds and sights. For us, humans, we expect the next round of fireworks to go off, but dogs don’t know what is happening. This poses a threat to their peace of mind.
The other reason is that the fireworks make the dogs feel trapped. The sounds and sights create an ominous feeling all around the animals, making them feel entrapped in a tightening net. Consequently, the ambivalence of the holiday leaves many dog owners in a quandary. How exactly should you deal with your dog during the fireworks show?
- Desensitize your pet – Making your dog accustomed to the sights and noises associated with fireworks is a good way to start. This has to be done in advance for it to work. You can initialize this by playing YouTube videos on fireworks at low levels. Increase the volume of the said videos over time to make the dog associate the sounds with a calming presence.
- Exercise your dog – An excellent way to minimize the anxiety your pet might experience during the celebrations is to exercise your pet. Exercise is an efficient way to wear out your pet three or four hours before the ceremony. Some ways you can do this is by taking him or her for a walk, playing in the park, or simply playing fetch in the backyard. When your dog releases energy before the event, he’ll have less energy to exert as the fireworks rise sky-high.
- Feed your dog a large meal – By feeding your pet a big meal one or two hours before the event, he’ll feel content and relaxed.
- Offer some distraction – Implementing ways for the dog not to focus on the things happening in its surroundings is an excellent way to ensure he stays relaxed. You can do this in a myriad of ways. For instance, you can buy a chew for him or her to chomp on, or a puzzle toy to keep him focused on another thing. -Another method employed by many people is to fill the container the dog is used to eating on with frozen wet food. The dog will spend the entirety of the night licking away at the frozen food, therefore remaining distracted to what is happening in the surroundings.
- Leave the TV on – Another method you can use is creating sounds and sights that the dog finds pleasing. Some pooches find classical music relaxing, while others love watching cartoons. Others may even find radios entertaining, and some puppies have shown an affinity to the talk shows on TV and radio. This may depend entirely on your dog. Once you have identified the sounds or sights that alleviate anxiety, leave them playing in the background.
- Close the windows and draw the curtains – Once you have implemented the necessary measures for dealing with the loud noises, you must remember that the flashing lights from the fireworks may also angst up the dog. Leaving the curtains closed may be a means to ensure that the said light does not penetrate into the house. Closing the windows also creates, however nuanced, a sound barrier, minimizing the noise entering the house. If you do have a specific spot or room that tends to be more sound-proof than the rest of the house, you should use it as a space for putting the dog.
- Anti-anxiety medication – The most useful thing you can do to address this conundrum is to buy anti-anxiety drugs for your dog. This ranges from over-the-counter medicines to simple calming treats you can give the pet. Some pet owners have even used Frankincense essential oil to massage the back of their dogs to keep them calm during the celebrations. It is recommended, however, that you consult with a veterinarian before purchasing anything. That way, you can address any allergies your dog may have, while also getting the best and most effective medication present.
- Cuddle your dog’s fear away – During and after the fireworks, spend quality time with your pet. This is a great way to calm your dog down and assure him that all is well and that the fireworks are over. During the celebration, your dog may view escaping from this stressful environment as the only way to stay relaxed. It is a recurring theme during the festivities. Many pets run away from home on the 4th of July in fear. The next day, July 5th is the busiest of days all year round in animal shelters, and they spend a greater part of the day receiving phone calls about lost dogs and reuniting the pets with their respective owners.
As a result, you need to fit your dog with a proper tag that clearly illustrates its name and your contact information. It is also a good idea to have a recently taken photo of the dog to quickly identify them in the shelter, or give the shelters an idea of what to look out for while conducting their searches. It is paramount that you remember that dogs take their cues from their respective owners. So, if you radiate calm and relaxed energy, your dog will assimilate with it.