San Juan and the summer festivities are approaching. And with these festivities, an element that can be a real torture for your dog: the fireworks.
Many dogs are afraid of fireworks. They hide, cry, shake and experience a real episode of terror during the shortest night of the year, which for many of them becomes the longest night of the year.
Why are dogs afraid of firework?
The noise of fireworks affects them (some more, some less) because a sound that exceeds 20,000Hz is practically imperceptible to a human, but to a dog it is, and they hear it three times as much.
The animal associates this noise with imminent danger, so when it hears the first explosive noise, its adrenalin increases and it produces an episode of stress. With the fireworks that follow, this stress increases and the animal becomes more nervous.
Tips to minimise the effect of fireworks on your dog
From Picart Petcare we give you some tricks to avoid some of this stress.
- Keep calm. The first step starts with you. Don’t get upset, this will help you to transmit a sense of security to your dog and help to calm his feeling of tension. It is not advisable to increase your contact with him more than you normally would. In this way, you will convey a sense of naturalness about the situation. If he is looking for petting, give him the reassurance he needs, but don’t overdo your contact with him.
- Don’t leave him alone. Even if he is hiding or doesn’t ask for constant cuddling, your presence is important to him and calms him down. If you leave him alone, stress may increase even more and he may self-harm or run away.
- Don’t repress his impulses. If he feels like hiding, don’t take him out of his hiding place, which is a safe place for him. Don’t scold him for being frightened either. The animal is afraid and it is an irrational impulse, so it will not react to your words.
- Find him a place where he feels safe. If he chooses to hide under a cupboard or bed, for example, close the doors and windows of the room he is in, to muffle the noise. Lights off usually makes it quieter, but you can also turn on the TV or radio to mitigate the din of the firecracker.
- Distract him with a toy. This is another measure that can help reduce stress levels. If you entertain him by playing, he will focus his attention on the game and not the noise. Every dog is different and you are sure to find the best way to appease his fear of fireworks.
- Seek outside help. If your dog is a real fear monger, there are educators who can help him understand that the noise of fireworks is unpleasant, but not dangerous. In fact, you can do a long-term treatment to help him overcome his fear.
Tips to walk your dog in firework season
The tips we’ve given you work at home, but… what about walking? But what about the walk? How do you deal with it so that your dog suffers as little as possible?
- Choose the right time. Although you never know when a firecracker is going to be set off, the most common time is from dusk onwards when the number of firecrackers intensifies. Try to walk your dog before that time.
- Look for a quiet route. If you have a park or less busy streets, choose them on these days to walk your dog. Of course, if you see someone with the intention of throwing a firecracker, move away as quickly as possible or ask them to wait until you have passed. And if there are spaces in your town for dogs to relieve themselves, make the most of them.
- Take him for a long walk and make him run and play to tire him out. If he’s tired, he’ll be less anxious too.