Dr. Kerri Nelson, Medical Director at Denver’s Veterinary Emergency Group says this is one of the busiest time of the year at her office.
Here are Dr. Nelson’s 6 ways to help a dog who’s scared of fireworks:
- Prepare Ahead of Time: When you know a holiday or event is coming up that is going to involve a lot of fireworks, prepare at least a week ahead of time. This way, you won’t be scrambling around at the last minute trying to get everything ready for your dog, and you’ll be able to create a sense of peace within your household when the time comes.
- Try Not to Leave Your Dog Alone: If at all possible, make plans to be at home with your dog during the time of any scheduled or expected fireworks. You don’t have to spend every moment with your dog during the fireworks (and this may actually cause more harm than good), but you should be at home, if possible, to help reduce other stress factors in your dog’s life at the time.
- Create a Safe Space in the Home: Put together a dog-friendly safe space where your furry friend will be safe and secure during the fireworks. This space may be as simple as a dog crate or as complicated as a laundry room or guest room that can belong only to the dog for the night.
- Drown Out the Sound It’s not possible to totally drown out the noise of fireworks, but you can help your dog feel a little more relaxed by covering up the sound with other household noises as much as possible. Play gentle music near your dog (but not so loud that it is painful) or keep a TV on in the same room where your dog will be staying. Another great solution for this option is to turn on a white noise machine.
- Try a Thunder Shirt: Thunder Shirts work well for many dogs, although they don’t work for every dog. These shirts provide deep pressure therapy by making the dog feel wrapped up and secure during a situation that causes panic or anxiety
- Remain Calm Last but not least, always remain calm. If you are panicking or worrying over your dog all night, then your dog is going to pick up on those feelings as well. The calmer you are, the less likely it will be for your dog to panic throughout the fireworks too.
If you know or think your pet is having an emergency and your family veterinarian is unavailable, call an emergency vet right away. At VEG, you can speak directly to an emergency veterinarian who will help you with knowing what the next steps are.