FIREWORKS ANXIETY? LET’S PREPARE YOUR POOCH
Does Your Dog Have Fireworks Anxiety?
We all love a happy dog. They run to us with wagging tails, full of love and friendly kisses. But once those loud fireworks start booming, many dogs experience hysteria and anxiety.
A recent survey found that 44 percent of pet owners reported serious signs of noise phobia in their dogs, such as aggressive behavior or running away, when exposed to loud noises. There is no need to panic. If you’re worried about your pooch this 4th of July, this article is for you.
Here are some tips to prepare your pooch for the 4th of July.
What Causes Noise Anxiety/Phobia in Dogs?
Anxiety in dogs is similar to that in humans. Dogs become fearful and exhibit uncomfortable, even threatening behavior when they become scared. For dogs with noise anxiety, these intense feelings of fear and anxiousness happen when they are exposed to loud sounds.
Estimates say there are 5 to 15 million dogs in America who suffer from noise anxiety so much that they need help. The American Animal Hospital Association finds that 40 percent of these dogs also experience separation anxiety.
Anxiety in dogs is real and widespread. Don’t wait to take proper, life-changing action for your pet.
What Does Noise Anxiety Look Like in Dogs?
Fireworks are not the only sound leading to anxious dogs. Distressing noises like thunder, vacuum cleaners, or sirens can also induce anxiety. Here are symptoms to look for in a pet that might be suffering:
- Trembling body language
- Ears pinned back
- Panicked eyes
- Whining or barking
- Panting, yawning, or drooling
- Destructive chewing, digging, and scratching
- Trying to escape their environment
- Urinating or defecating
In order to prevent these troublesome symptoms, it is important to take the following actions for a scared friend.
Anti-Anxiety Tips for The 4th of July
If your pet has severe anxiety, it is best to consult your veterinarian before the upcoming holiday. They can offer treatments, such as a calming medication or prescribed therapy.
Here are some tips to get your pooch prepped for the celebrations.
Try A Comforting Blanket
Trisha Yearwood Pet Collection has everything you need to keep your pet safe and happy this holiday. Try wrapping your dog in one of these calming blankets to help them feel cozy, safe and secure. We as humans tend to relax as we snuggle up in a blanket; it could help your dog too!
Noise Desensitization Training
To modify your dog’s behavior with loud sounds, you can find a recording with the noises your dog fears. (Note: this is not torture, this is treatment). Begin playing the recording until your dog starts to exemplify the anxious symptoms. Turn off the recording as soon as symptoms show.
Once your dog is relaxed again, play the stimuli at a lower level below. After a short while, increase the sound slightly. When your dog can hear it but is still relatively calm, praise them and give them delicious Trisha Yearwood’s, grain-free treats. This is teaching your pets that good things happen when these noises occur.
Continue this training, until your dog is comfortable with those fear-inducing sounds. With practice and patience, your dog will be able to handle what was once a very stressful situation.
Making a Safe and Comfy Space
Having a place in the house where your dog can feel secure and safe is very important. This can be anywhere, like a corner or room they like to escape to. Make sure to introduce them to it a few weeks before the holiday. When the fireworks start screeching, they can go to this safe spot to curb their anxieties.
Using a Microchip for Extra Peace of Mind
Fear and anxiety can even cause dogs to run away. Animal shelters and animal control units have their busiest days of the year after the 4th of July holiday, as dogs attempt to escape the fireworks noises.
A scared dog running from its family is the last thing you and your pet want to experience. Make sure your dog has been microchipped with up-to-date registration, so you always know where your four-legged friends are.
From Our Home to Yours…
We hope you and your furry friends have a fantastic 4th of July!
Extra Pup Safety Tips
- Leave dogs inside rather than expose them to fireworks and debris. Leaving them at home prevents unfortunate accidents and is better for pets with anxiety. Remember to lock windows and doors if you will be away.
- Walk your dog before the night of fireworks. Exercise earlier in the day will help them be more relaxed in the evening.
- Double-check collars and ID tags for a secure fit and up-to-date information in case they get out. Check these out if your pet’s current collar is old or needs replacement. A worn-down collar risks breaking and jeopardizing your pet’s safety.
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Miller, P., By, -, Miller, P., & Miller, W. D. J. T. E. P. (2019, April 29). Dogs with an unhealthy fear of loud noises. Whole Dog Journal. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/behavior/dogs-with-an-unhealthy-fear-of-loud-noises/
Noise phobia in dogs. AKC Canine Health Foundation | Noise Phobia in Dogs. (n.d.). Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/noise-phobia-in-dogs.html
Noise anxiety in dogs and how to treat it: Calmer canine®. Assisi Animal Health. (2021, October 21). Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://assisianimalhealth.com/library/dog-noise-anxiety/
Noise anxiety in dogs: Symptoms, causes, & 5 ways to treat it. DogTime. (2021, July 1). Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://dogtime.com/dog-health/dog-behavior/2580-noise-anxiety-dogs
Recent consumer research indicates more than 40 percent of dog owners say their dogs suffer from noise aversion. Zoetis US. (n.d.). Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://www.zoetisus.com/news-and-media/recent-consumer-research-indicates-more-than-40-percent-of-dog-owners-say-their-dogs-suffer-from-noise-aversion.aspx#:~:text=A%20recent%20survey%20conducted%20online,in%20response%20to%20noise1.
Safarivet. (2019, July 5). 5th July - Busiest Day of the year for United States Animal Shelter - Safari Veterinary Care Center. Veterinarians In League City, TX | Safari Veterinary Care Center. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://www.safarivet.com/blog/5th-july-busiest-day-of-the-year-for-united-states-animal-shelter/