There aren't many dogs that enjoy the loud noises made by fireworks, and there are plenty of dogs that truly hate hearing them. This can actually be quite serious; noise phobia in dogs is not uncommon, and it can lead to a significant level of canine stress.
That's not something that's healthy for your dog, and it's something that any concerned owner is going to want to avoid. Here are just five tips you can follow to help your dog out during fireworks.
1. Stay Home
Dogs are pack animals who do not particularly enjoy being left alone for any reason, but they'll really dislike the lack of your presence when they are stressed. It is during these times that they will look to you for comfort, so try to stay home or provide a dog-sitter when you know there is going to be a lot of noise, such as when fireworks are planned.
2. Provide the Right Comfort
Now you're staying at home, you can comfort your dog, but you need to provide the right kind of comfort. Showing excessive worry for your dog may increase their anxiety since they are likely to think that you are scared as well. Instead, act like nothing is wrong, pet them as normal, and engage them with distracting activities, such as games.
3. Create a Safe Place
Many dogs will naturally want to hide when they hear loud noises, so make sure you give them a nice, comforting area to seek shelter. One good idea is to cover their cage in thick blankets to help deaden the noise. Just make sure this shelter is in the same room as you and your family instead of in another room where you send the dog when they start showing signs of anxiety.
4. Provide Stress Relievers
Regardless of how well you provide for your dog during a firework display, they are still likely to experience some stress. Make sure you provide plenty of chew toys so they can chew away any stress while those sounds are coming thick and fast.
5. Attempt Desensitization
If your dog shows signs of high stress during a firework display, or during any other kind of loud noises, you might want to try desensitizing them. There are lots of CDs that you can buy that play pre-recorded loud noises. By starting at a lower volume and then gradually making things louder, you can acclimatize your dog to unexpected loud noises. Of course, it always helps to reinforce their good behaviour with a few treats.