Firework Safety and Anxiety: How to Keep Your Dogs Calm and Safe This Summer

June 28, 2024

Firework Safety and Anxiety: How to Keep Your Dogs Calm and Safe This Summer

Firework Safety and Anxiety: How to Keep Your Dogs Calm and Safe This Summer 

Summer is often a season of celebration, with long, sunny days, family barbecues, and vibrant firework displays lighting up the night sky.  While we may enjoy the festivities, our dogs often have a different experience. The loud noises and bright flashes can cause significant stress and anxiety in many animals. At Iron Will Raw, we believe in providing holistic care for your dogs, which includes addressing their emotional and physical well-being. Here are some tips on firework safety and anxiety management, along with enrichment activities to keep your dogs engaged and happy during this time. 

Understanding Dog Anxiety 

Dogs can be highly sensitive to loud noises—the unexpected bangs and flashes of fireworks can trigger a fight-or-flight response in them, leading to anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety in dogs include trembling, hiding, excessive barking, pacing, and destructive behaviour. Recognizing these signs early is crucial to implementing effective calming strategies. 

Pre-Firework Prep 

  1. Establishing a Safe Environment: Designate a quiet, comfortable area in your home where your dog can retreat. This space should be away from windows and ideally as soundproofed as you can make it. Use a crate if your dog is crate-trained, as it can provide a sense of security.
  2. Implementing Desensitization Techniques: In the weeks leading up to anticipated fireworks, gradually expose your dog to recorded firework sounds at a low volume. Pair the sounds with positive experiences like treats or playtime to help build a positive association.
  3. Incorporating Physical Exercise: Ensure your dog gets plenty of physical exercise earlier in the day. Activities like long walks, runs, or vigorous play sessions can help burn off excess energy.

During Fireworks 

  1. Maintaining Calmness: Dogs can pick up on their owners' emotions. Stay calm and relaxed to help reassure your dog that there is no real need to worry.
  2. Utilizing Background Noise: Play calming music or turn on the TV to help mask the noise of fireworks. There are specific playlists designed to soothe dogs available on various streaming platforms. 
  3. Providing Comfort Items: Provide your dog with their favorite toys, blankets, or an item of clothing that smells like you. These familiar objects can offer comfort. 
  4. Offering Interactive Toys: Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys are excellent for keeping your dog’s mind occupied. These toys challenge your dog to think and problem-solve, providing mental stimulation. 
  5. Preparing Frozen Treats: Help your dog beat the heat with homemade frozen treats. Use bone broth, plain yogurt, or even their favorite Iron Will Raw food, and freeze it in molds for a refreshing and nutritious snack that will keep their mind off the events happening outside. 
  6. Using Natural Calming Aids: Consider using natural calming aids such as pheromone diffusers, anxiety wraps, or supplements. Consult with your veterinarian to find the best option for your dog. 

Post-Firework Care 

After the fireworks have ended, spend some extra time with your dog to help them unwind and reduce any residual stress. Have them participate in familiar activities and reward them with great enthusiasm. 

  1. Training Sessions: Use this time to reinforce existing tricks.  
  2. Exploring the Outdoors: If your dog wants to go outside, walk a familiar route  

We understand that fireworks can be a challenging time for dogs and their owners. By preparing in advance, creating a calm environment, and providing plenty of enrichment, you can help your dog navigate the summer festivities with less stress and more enjoyment. Remember, each dog is unique, so it may take some trial and error to find the best strategies for your furry friend. With patience and care, you can ensure a safe and happy summer for your beloved dog. 

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