Fireworks and dogs

New Year’s Eve. Probably my dog’s second least favorite holiday of the year. If they knew what a holiday was, that is! Of my own 6 dogs, 2 of them despise fireworks and gunshots. Here are some things I do to help my own freaked out pups through these nightmarish evenings.

  • Once it gets dark, keep them indoors! If you must go out for a potty trip be sure to leash them up securely. Yes, even if using a fenced in potty area. A panicked dog will make any attempt at escape it sees fit.
  • Be sure your pup is wearing an ID tag or is microchipped AND that the information is current!!!
  • Exercise your pup earlier in the day. Get them nice and tired! We usually do nose work or scent games.
  • Have some stuffed food toys, such as a frozen Kong or Toppl ready to go.
  • Play music, turn the volume of the TV up loud, and/or run fans to muffle the booms.
  • Use an Adaptil collar or plug in, but be sure to read the instructions closely to use it properly. The collar must have a snug fit and the plug needs to have an empty wall above it or the pheremone will not disperse propersly and you’ll just get an oily residue on whatever is near it.

In addition to the above things that I do with my own dogs, here are a few other considerations:

  • If your pup has medication to help with the noise, be sure to use it properly. Medication can be a lifesaver for some dogs!
  • Some dogs respond well to a Thundershirt. Be aware, that if you do use the Thundershirt, do not only put it on prior to storms and fireworks or it could become a predictor of terrible things to come. Every so often, put it on your pup on a bright and sunny day!

I hope these tips help make fireworks and other loud noises less frightening to your pup. If your pup is inconsolable during these events do not hesitate to speak to your veterinarian. There are options to help your pup’s anxiety!!!

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