Now that Christmas is over, we have one more festive day before saying goodbye to 2020: New Year’s Eve. Fireworks are part of a lot of people’s celebrations, however, our dogs don’t enjoy them at all! Actually, dogs perceived fireworks as a threat, therefore, they can become scared, anxious, stressed, and their first response will be to follow their survival instinct and run away from the noise.
So, the solution to this problem is simple, just don’t use fireworks, right? BUT how do you convince your whole city to stop celebrating with fireworks? There is no way. We can’t do much about other people celebrating burning their money, but we can at least try to make it better for our pups.
What to do?
1.Make sure your dog has a “safe place”, this ideally would be their crate. Now we have to make this safe place as cosy as possible, my typical firework safe place set up is: bed, doggy blanket, frozen kong filled with peanut butter, 2 favorite toys, relaxing music, all these items go inside my dog’s crate and I like throwing a blanket over the crate to make it even cosier.
Extra tips to create your dog’s safe place:
-Choose only relaxing music, if you play heavy metal to a stressed dog, I don’t think that’s going to help. You can type “Dog calming music” on Youtube, you’ll get hundreds of options. If you feel like investing a couple of bucks, I highly recommend you “Thorugh a Dog’s ear” this is a Fear Free approved speaker pre-loaded with 3-hrs special music on a micro SD sound card.
-Haven’t done laundry? That can help your dog. You can put a piece of clothes worn by you on your dog’s bed. It sounds gross for humans, but works perfectly for dogs, that piece of clothes smells like you and that’s all your pup cares about.
-Consider the use of calming pheromones, there are a lot of options, from sprays, calm collars to home diffusers. If you prefer natural options, go to our Instagram: @chicawoofdogwalking we have a DIY dog calming spray.
2.Distract your dog. As simple as it sounds, this is a great opportunity to try new puzzle toys, games, kong fillings, click here to see our post with 3 healthy kong filling ideas.
3.A pressure wrap/vest is worth to try. They are also known as “thunder jackets” they are very popular, you can find them at almost any pet shop, or Amazon. This kind of jackets work under the theory that pressure applied to the dog’s torso causes a calming effect similar to swaddling a crying infant or hugging a distressed person, to be honest I’ve never used one of those, but I have clients who have great results with them. If it is too late for you to get one of these you can make your own:
4. Finally, dog trainers don’t read this: A lot of snuggles! Many dog trainers disagree with this one claiming that this reinforce fearful behavior, which kind of makes sense, but I am sorry, if my dog is looking for comfort during a scary situation, I am here. I would say just belly rubs, snuggles, and love; avoid baby voice, high pitch voice, loud exclamantions, etc.