Dogs, Lightning, Fireworks Not Perfect Together

Now it is not uncommon that your dog will not share in the celebration as long as fireworks are part of the festivities. It is the same reaction that dogs often exhibit to lightning and thunder.

Loud noises and bright lights can scare dogs that don’t normally have a history of noise phobias, where they will show anxiety-driven behavior such as trembling, salivating, pacing, panting, trying to escape and barking.

More than one dog has been injured running into the path of a vehicle trying to get away from the noise.

Don’t take your dog to the fireworks, and if you know your dog is fearful stay home with the dog in a comfortable location. Before the fireworks, anticipate if you can your dog’s exposure to noises and attempt to avoid that exposure, if possible.

Talk to your pet in a light, cheerful tone that sends a message that the storm is no big deal. Encourage your dog to find a quiet, restful place to wait out the noise.

Don’t try to over-compensate for the situation with a lot of extra attention. This can sometimes exacerbate the problem by reinforcing your dog’s fearful response.

If you must leave your dog alone, make your dog comfortable indoors where it will feel safest. Turn on the radio/television/fan/air-conditioner and other things that act as background “white noise”. Make sure you provide a comfortable “safe place” in case your dog is scared during the fireworks.

Dogs are often acutely aware of their guardian’s moods and will feed off the way you react to the noise. Try to be upbeat and happy and, if you can, redirect your dog’s attention to an activity.

Happy 4th of July!

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