Is your precious pooch afraid of fireworks? With the start of fireworks season on the horizon, it might be a good time to find out and prepare. My family and I once had a dog that was afraid of loud noises. His name was Bubba and every time he’d hear fireworks or thunder he’d fall apart. If your dog turns out to hate loud noises as much as Bubba did, you may want to check out these tips for dealing with fireworks induced anxiety:
Create a Safe Zone
When it comes to dealing with fireworks induced anxiety attacks, your dog may benefit from having a safe zone. We set up several safe zones for Bubba and it seemed to help him a lot. He had two safe zones inside the house and two outside. One of the places he liked to hide during fireworks displays and thunderstorms was his dog crate. Once he got inside the crate he would cuddle up with one of our old t-shirts and his favorite chew toy. We’d also cover the door of the crate to reduce his exposure to the sounds and flashes of light. It was enough to calm him down and may work for your pooch as well.
Ask Your Vet About Medication
Did you know that there are medications that your local veterinarian can prescribe to help soothe your dog’s nerves during fireworks displays? One of the drugs used is called Acepromazine. Our vet would occasionally give it to Bubba to help calm him during office visits. He would sometimes get freaked out over those as well. We really preferred not to give the drug to Bubba unless necessary because of the potential for serious side effects. In some dogs it may cause premature death when mixed with other medications. Depending on how badly your dog reacts to the fireworks displays and your feelings on such medications, you may want to discuss Acepromazine with your family’s veterinarian.
Consider a Desensitization Program
With repeated and gradually escalating exposure, some dogs may become desensitized to loud noises over time. Some pet owners may opt to take their dog to see a behavior specialist or attempt to use over-the-counter CDs to desensitize their pet. Personally, I would recommend discussing such programs with your family’s veterinarian before starting one at home. My family and I did not try to increase Bubba’s exposure to loud noises. He did, however, become accustom to them on his own. The more thunderstorms and fireworks displays he endured over the years, the better he seemed to get at handling them.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys the great outdoors with her family. She has several pets and has traveled extensively.
More from this contributor:
Top 5 Tips for Planning Summer Camping Trips with Your Dog
Best 5 Pet Friendly Beaches on St. Simons Island, Georgia
5 Places in Georgia to Spay or Neuter Your Pet for Less
How to Keep Your Cat Safe in the Summer