Updated: Feb 29, 2020
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It is best not to take your dog to fireworks display. That includes your backyard, neighborhood or park. It is the loudness of the fireworks, the smell, and the vibrations that makes dogs afraid of fireworks.
If you are aware of the signs of fearful behavior you can save both of your dog a lot of grief: Shaking, pacing, panting, digging, and whining can be signs that your dog is in distress.
Many of these dogs will try to find a place to hide, a closet, bathroom, a place under you house, or any place they deem safe.
When they are frightened or disoriented by these noises they can do things out of character, like destroy property, pee and poop on the floor or furniture, hurt themselves or owners. These frantic attempts at escape can cause them to dig, chew, scratch doors, window sill, or even jump out windows.
If you dog is afraid of fireworks please don’t leave her alone. It is best to stay home with your dog during these times. Even if she never showed signs before you never know if something this time will cause her to be afraid.
If you have an environment that is calm and quiet that will help create a safe place for your dog. Turn on music (we stream Relax My Dog or other music for dogs), don’t have fireworks on the TV unless the sound is turned off. Keep your dog occupied with tasks she loves to do. Follow your dog’s cues as to what will make her feel calm and safe during these times.
Raising puppies to tolerate fireworks
If you are raising puppies, once they have passed their 5-week fear period, start to introduce taped fireworks noises. Start the noises at just below conversational volume. If the puppie exhibit any fear or stress, stop and try again in a day or two with even lower volume. Less is more in this situation—a few minutes at a time is plenty. You don’t want to flood the puppies. As the puppy’s habituate to the noises, you can slowly increase volume, again, watching carefully for stress and fear.
It is NOT age-appropriate to expose young puppies to live fireworks. They are not developmentally ready for that yet.
Instead, teach your families how to habituate their puppies to noises as they continue their development and help them work up to this or any other loud noises they anticipate them encountering in their lives.
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