Summer is the season for beach adventures, barbecues, and bright and cheery weather. The season, much to your pup’s displeasure, also calls for fireworks. Sadly, dogs and fireworks are not a good match. Neither are dogs and storms. And if you live in an area that frequently experiences thunderstorms, your furry friend may feel extremely anxious and even want to run away.
But with the right preparation and coping strategies, you can ensure your dog’s safety and comfort!
5 Ways To Keep Your Dog Safe During Summer Festivities
1. Make Sure Your Dog Is Comfortable
Loud noises can be highly stressful and anxiety-inducing for pets. So, it’s crucial that you make your dog comfortable in whatever way possible, especially during thunderstorms or when fireworks are set off to reduce distress. Dogs have a heightened sense of hearing, and loud noises can affect them psychologically and damage their hearing. Create a safe corner or hideout for your dog. This could be a crate, a bed, or anywhere else your pup feels comfortable. Make sure the space has plenty of blankets, toys, and treats that your dog is familiar with and enjoys.
Fill the space with comforting scents that your dog will recognize, such as a worn shirt. If your dog gets used to a safe space, it will seek refuge here when the noises get too loud. It’s also important that you appear relaxed when the noises start. Your pet will look at you for any signs of danger. If you are calm and react to the noises as if they were nothing, your dog is less likely to panic. This is one of the best ways to calm your pet down.
2. Keep Your Pet Company
Dogs are social animals and love being around humans, especially when they are scared or anxious. Playing games that physically tire your dog can help it fall asleep, so it won’t hear the loud sounds. Alternatively, you and your four-legged companion can also spend some quality time outdoors and get inside when the thunderstorm or the fireworks start. Even during this time, remember to remain calm.
Dogs often pick up on their owner’s anxiety. It would also be helpful if you spoke softly and gently to reassure your pet’s safety. That said, give your dog space if it withdraws from you and wants to hide in its safe spot.
3. Establish A Routine
It’s a good idea to establish a schedule for meals and exercise for your dog throughout the summer. Dogs rely on these patterns for a sense of security. This will be especially useful if you have a dog who loves being outside but hates loud noises. Take your dog out for walks every day, so it knows when it’s time to get inside and won’t be too anxious about it.
Once you create a schedule for your dog, you won’t have to worry about taking it out when there are loud noises. However, if there’s an emergency, products such as portable pee pads can be very useful. Check out this Doggielawn- grass patches review for more information.
4. Do Not Scold/Raise Your Voice
Not shouting is an obvious suggestion. Often, pet owners resort to scolding to get their pets to calm down when they bark loudly or are scared, but that’s not the way to calm a scared, shaking dog. This does not work and will only increase anxiety.
The best way to communicate with your dog during loud fireworks or thunderstorm noises is by being calm and comforting.
5. Use Lots Of Distractions
Remember, keep your dog busy and distracted with lots of toys and puzzles is a great way to get its anxiety under control. You can use its favorite toys to calm it down.
Most dogs love a game of fetch or tug, which are also easy enough to play indoors. You can also refresh basic commands and use treats to keep them engaged. Don’t hesitate to try different methods, like playing soothing music or white noise, if it helps.
6. Contact A Vet If Needed
Keep in mind that every dog is unique and will react to noises differently. So, what may have worked for one dog may not necessarily work for another. If you think your dog’s anxiety is severe, or if you’re struggling to calm it down during storms and fireworks, don’t hesitate to seek help from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.
Ideally, you should contact your vet in advance to learn how to handle your dog. This way, you’ll be prepared.
Learning how to calm a scared, shaking dog can help you and your pet have a happy and stress-free season. Remember to create a safe and comfortable space for your dog, provide distractions, be calm, and seek professional help (if necessary) to help your dog feel secure and calm during these scary events.
With a little bit of planning and patience, you can help your dog weather the storm and enjoy all the fun and excitement that summer has to offer!