With June 21 as the official start of summer, quickly approaching, dogs and their owners will start spending more and more time outside soaking up the summer sun. There will be long walks, road trips, and meals eaten outside. And as much as an opportunity as the summer season presents for making happy memories with your four-legged companion, it also signals the approach of fireworks season. For an estimated 23% of dogs, the sound of exploding fireworks causes them to be afraid. Studies show that female dogs are more likely to be afraid of fireworks than their male counterparts. And it’s understandable, even as humans if we hear an explosion or loud noise off in the distance we too may “jump out of our seats” or “freeze in one spot” as our minds try to logically reason what may have happened and asses our personal risk. For our canine companions that lack the ability to reason, they have no choice but to let instinct kick-in, and that instinct tells them that danger is near and they need to act quickly to save themselves.
Traditionally when we talk about dogs and fireworks induced fear, we think mainly of July 4th in the U.S. but there are other celebrations over the summer that include fireworks: baseball games and sporting events, theme parks sundown celebration, and in some small towns across America weekly fireworks displays are a cherished tradition.
This week on here on the maxxiblog we’re going to be sharing well tested tips for helping your dog tolerate fireworks, so that his understandable fear doesn’t turn into an overall noise phobia. Whether you’ve adopted a dog this year, moved, or are making travel plans that include fireworks, early preparation to help your dog will make all the difference.
First things first, is determining if your dog has a fear of fireworks. The safe side is to assume that if your dog has a fear of loud noises, such as thunderstorms, or is prone to anxious behavior that they’ll be afraid of fireworks. Dogs exhibit fearful behavior in the following ways:
1. Shaking or trembling
2. Pacing or restlessness
4. Staying close to a loved-one or leaning
5. Destructive behavior
6. Inability to eat or drink
7. Loss of bladder or bowel control
8. Running away
Have you witnessed these behaviors in your dog in the past? Do your summer travel plans involve fireworks? Stay tuned for our next post: “Prepare to be prepared”