Scared of fireworks?

October 25th, 2012

dogs-scared-of-fireworksLoud, unpredictable noises from fireworks can be scary for your dog so don’t be surprised if you find him cowering behind the couch or covering his eyes.

Here are a few tips for easing your dog’s fear of fireworks:

Don’t change your behaviour – Resist the temptation to pet your dog more than usual or to cuddle them more and talk to them in soft voices. This may reinforce the dog’s fearful behaviour. Try and behave normally.

Try not to react to the fireworks yourself – If you jump or tense up when you hear fireworks because you are anticipating your dog’s fear, you may make his fear worse. Your dog will pick up on your body language and feel there is a reason to be afraid.

Drown out the sound of the fireworks – Turn up the radio or television and keep your windows closed during the fireworks.

Don’t push your dog past his comfort zone –  If he wants to hide, let him hide! Allow your dog to retreat to his safe place where he feels most comfortable. Don’t try and coax him out or try to force him closer to the fireworks in an attempt to get him used to the sounds. This may only increase the dog’s fear. A frightened dog may become aggressive if pushed past his comfort level.