What Can I Give My Dog for Fireworks Anxiety
An estimated 40% of dogs are scared of fireworks, with some being so severely affected that they will jump through glass, over fences, and even run into oncoming traffic in order to try and escape from the overwhelmingly loud bangs.
Fortunately, if your dog suffers with a fear of fireworks, there are many different courses of action that you can take to make them feel safe and help them to remain calm during a fireworks display.
From giving them a hemp dog treat, playing soothing music, to desensitizing them to loud noises, keep reading to discover how you can help your dog overcome their fireworks anxiety.
However, first, let’s look at why do dogs hate fireworks so much?
Why are dogs scared of fireworks?
If you are wondering why some dogs are afraid of fireworks and others are completely unaffected by occasions such as the fourth of July and Independence Day, you may be interested to know that it is mostly down to genetics. Depending on the temperament of your dog, which is determined both by genetics and their early development, they may have an inherent predisposition to stress, anxiety, and fear.
This means that they are much more likely to be affected by loud noises, such as the sound of fireworks and thunder during a storm.
There is also the fact that dogs hear twice as many frequencies as humans and that they can hear sounds four times further away.
How to calm dogs from fireworks
If you dread any holiday where you know fireworks will occur as you know you will have to see your beloved pooch cowering and shaking for hours on end, you will be pleased to know that there are several tried and tested ways to calm anxious dogs.
CBD oil is known for relieving anxiety in both humans and dogs and might be extremely effective in calming your dog ahead and during a fireworks display.
How exactly does it work?
When your dog becomes scared during fireworks, the root of this fear is their anxiety. Loud noises make dogs feel both emotionally distressed and unable to control what is happening to them. This results in their brains producing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, and no amount of soothing words from you can calm them down.
Fortunately, by giving them CBD dog treats for anxiety, the chemical imbalance in their brains should be rectified, and you might notice them become considerably calmer.
For the desired calming effects on your dog, aim to give the CBD treat to them between 15-30 minutes before the fireworks start.
Keep them indoors
This may sound obvious, but you should not let your dog go outside if you know that fireworks are likely to go off. You may find that your dog tries to get out into your backyard, but this is purely because they are scared and are looking for a way to escape from the loud noises.
Instead, provide them with a safe place to sit in your home and ensure they have access to fresh water (anxious dogs tend to pant) and aim to feed them before any fireworks start as they may become too anxious to eat.
Play classical music
Soothing music, and classical music, in particular, is known for its ability to calm distressed dogs. Make sure you play your chosen soundtrack at a volume that your dog is happy with, but that can also help block out the loud bangs of fireworks.
You may also want to try sound therapy in the lead up to New Year’s Eve or other holidays when fireworks are likely to occur. This specialized treatment involves playing your dog sounds such as fireworks, thunder, vacuum cleaners, and even a new baby’s cry.
Keep your curtains closed
It is not just the sound of fireworks that some dogs find distressing but also the bright lights and flashes in the sky. Therefore, it can be a good idea to keep all your curtains closed to minimize the visual effects of any fireworks.
Make sure your dog is microchipped
If the worst does happen and your dog escapes from your home due to fireworks anxiety, it is crucial that they are microchipped so that you can easily locate where they have gone.
It is also a good idea to make sure your microchip details are up to date, especially if you have recently moved home or changed your mobile phone number.
Dogs are very intuitive, and if they see that you are anxious or even acting differently to normal, they will know that something is up and will more than likely react even worse when the fireworks do start.
Avoid being overly touchy-feely with your dog and, instead, simply sit with them or play with them if they feel up to it.
Speak to your vet
Although many dog owners do not want to have to resort to prescribed medication, if you have tried all of the above and your dog still becomes severely distressed, you may want to talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medication for dogs.
What NOT to do if your dog has a fear of fireworks
- Do not tell them off. Being scared of loud noises is natural for some dogs, and you need to be patient and calm rather than angry.
- Do not take them for a walk if you think fireworks may start.
- Do not take them to a fireworks display.
- Do not tie them up outside if a fireworks display is likely.
- Do not lock them in one room.
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