According to a study conducted by the School of Veterinary Sciences of the University of Bristol, loud sounds like fireworks, gunshots, and thunder trigger a fearful behavior in dogs. They can vocalize, tremble, shake, destroy things, urinate, salivate, hide, and seek comfort and people.
Luckily, there are a lot of tools and ways to prepare for these sounds to make the situation less stressful for you and your pal.
1. Prepare days before
If you are aware that in your city there is a celebration coming up, you may only have a few days to prepare. Perhaps you’re hosting a party and having family over for the holidays, remember to plan everything without stressing yourself and your family. When there’s a build up of energy and everybody is worried about the party, the dog will feel it too.
If you already know that fireworks and loud sounds make your pup terrified, remember to include their well being and their needs in your plans for the parties. This will go much further ensuring everyone enjoys themselves and the event is a true success.
2. Don’t worry!This advice is a continuation of the first one. Don’t get stressed out when you feel that your pet is fearful and scared. You must remain calm and show this to your dog so that the pet knows that they are safe with you. If the pup is affectionate, stay close to them, talk and reassure them to remain calm, snuggle a lot!
The advice is also valid for planning a celebration party. Avoid fighting with your family, rushing, or yelling. When you feel that you’re about to explode, take your dog for a nice walk with lots of water for you both. You’ll experience calm and bond with each other!
3. Prepare a place for your dog to retreat
On the celebration day, especially if you’re leaving the house or having family over, make sure to prepare a place or room so your dog can retreat. Close the curtains and windows, leave some toys, plenty of water, and a few treats.
If the dog hides when fearful, prepare a crate with a cozy blanket and a comfort toy to snuggle. Ideally, the pet should have the company of a family member or a sitter to make sure they don’t try to escape or harm themselves. So when possible don’t leave them unattended!
4. Take your dog to the longest walk ever!On the celebration day, make sure you or a family member has the time to take a long walk with your pup. Remember to avoid the hottest hours of the day and make sure to have plenty of water to hydrate both you and your fluffy friend.
Take a walk in the neighborhood exploring new places, go to a park or even on a hike, but make sure they have plenty of new experiences and fun. At the end of the day, the dog will be tired, and the fireworks won’t stress them out as much, because they’ll prioritize getting some well deserved rest.
5. Get ID tags and microchipping!
It doesn't matter how much we worry about our pets, some of them can escape through the tiniest hole when scared and stressed out. Remember to keep their identification tags up to date, with your phone number and address, and if they aren’t yet microchipped, consider it as a protective measure. If they run away, these items can help people identify them and return them faster to you faster.
6. Calming wraps and sound therapyThere are a lot of different shirts on the market that wrap around their body and make them feel secure when facing stressful situations. If you can’t buy one, you can do it yourself using a towel, a scarf, or an old t-shirt. Place the middle of the cloth across the dog’s chest, bring both ends up and cross them at the withers, then cross again under the pet’s stomach and tie the loose ends over the top of their lower back. This pressure must be gentle, like a snuggle or a warm hug.
Before the fireworks start, make sure your dog is already wrapped up in their crate with their favorite toys, then you can put on some music, calming sounds, or even turning on a machine they’re used to, to distract them from the sound of the fireworks. If the dog is already stressed out and the fireworks already started, the calming wraps or the sounds probably won’t work.
7. Calming Oils, Sticks, and Chews
There are also a few calming supplements for dogs and other animals in the pet market. The True Hemp™ Calming Chews, Sticks, and Oils have a unique formulation that combines hemp seed with calming herbs and L-theanine, that can promote the reduction of hyperactivity and helps promote relaxation and bring calm to your pets.
You can give them up to one chew, half a teaspoon, or one stick for every 20 lbs daily. All True Hemp™ calming products are naturally preserved, from non-GMO hemp, grain free and with no artificial colors or flavors. A ton of positive feedback from customers says it can calm your pet down within one our.