New Year’s Eve is FUN for humans, but TERRIFYING for our poor dogs and puppies! Fireworks can be a super scary thing for a lot of dogs because of the noise and the bright lights and the overall ambience – BUT, with these 6 tips, it’s actually quite easy to combat that stress and fear!
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Every time there’s a holiday with fireworks like New Years Eve which is coming up real soon, us dog owners dread the idea of our dogs getting scared or stressed from the super loud noises and the overstimulation. But, there’s 6 easy steps we can ALL take to help them calm down and be relaxed during these stressful events – fireworks will be no problem for your dog soon enough!
1. DAYTIME EXERCISE — The first step you can take to prepare your dog for fireworks is to exhaust them during the day leading up to the fireworks. Tiring a dog out eliminates stress in any case, but it’s especially important for days like this with a stimulating, loud event — if your dog is too tired and relaxed from the fun, active day he’s had, he will be way less tense and stressed during the actual fireworks, and he actually might sleep through most of it if you also implement some of the next techniques.
2. SAFE SPACE — It is so important to have a safe haven for your dog during the fireworks! This includes closed windows and curtains to minimize the noise level of the fireworks, but also having a crate or a smaller cave-like space available for your dog. If it’s not a crate, it can even be something like a space under a drying rack – anywhere where your dog can feel like he is safe in a smaller space. A good idea is also to cover their crate or wherever your safe space is with blankets to create a noise canceling effect – just make sure you’re not overheating the space!
3. LICKING MAT OR TOY — Distractions, distractions, distractions! Provide your dog with a licking mat or a KONG with something like peanut butter that has been frozen so that they can lick away for the few minutes of fireworks. Not only will this distract them with something fun and delicious, licking is proven to create a calming effect for dogs, so it’s a win-win!
4. DESENSITIZATION TRAINING BEFOREHAND — This one should be done for a couple days or weeks leading up to the event, so don’t worry if you forgot to do this. But, if you can, try desensitization training — you can do this by pulling up a YouTube video of fireworks at a low volume, then feeding your dog treats every few seconds and letting them kind of settle in. As your dog gets more used to it, start raising the volume and continue rewarding them with yummy treats or with a frozen KONG like in the previous tip. This way, you’re truly preparing for the real thing and when the real fireworks do happen, your dog won’t even care!
5. THUNDER SHIRT — If you think your dog will still feel very anxious on the day of, invest in a thunder shirt, which is basically a tight fitting shirt for dogs that get anxiety from things like thunder or fireworks, and this snuggly feeling helps them feel less stressed.
6. PLAY RELAXING DOG MUSIC — Lastly, play some relaxing dog music! Again, you can find tons of these videos on YouTube, and by playing this over the fireworks, you can kind of drown out the scary fireworks with some relaxing tunes for your dog.
Hopefully by following these tips, your dog won’t even be that scared, but give them extra TLC if they start to feel scared!
#dogtraining #newyear #2022