You may not know this but more dogs are admitted to animal shelter on popular holidays accompanied by fireworks (New Years day, Christmas, 4th of July) then on any other days.
So how do you stop your dog from becoming a statistic? Here are some simple but important rules:
1. Enure your dog is microchipped and wearing appropriate ID tags. There is still time to update your microchip details and get a Council ID tag that will help your dog find his way home in the event he ends up in a dog shelter.
2. Take him out for a walk early. Don’t wait till the last moment just to realize that Fido hasn’t been to his toilet break yet. Once the fireworks start, many dogs become terrified and will run to escape the noise. When that happens, make sure he is safely indoors. So take him out for a walk while it’s still day time.
3. close doors, pull down curtains and find a safe room. Dogs will often try to violently get away at the sound of fireworks. Make sure he is in a safe space. A laundry often works best. Remove breakable objects or furniture he could tip over or jump on. Glass doors are a bad idea.
4. When the fireworks start, stay close, keep him company but don’t get histerical.
When feeling frightened, dogs need calm, comforting presence. If you tend to feed off their fear and become fearfull yourself, you may be better off to stay in another room.
5. Soft music helps. Don’t make it too loud but in my experience soft background music seems to help.
6. Plan for next time – desensitization works. I know it’s a little too late for this Independence Day but if your dog is fearfull of thunderstorms, desensitization and counter conditioning can do wonders at helping your dog cope. Watch this space – I plan to expand on this subject in the next few days.