Sunday, July 3, 2011

One Little Firecracker

Some dogs will hear the sound of fireworks and not even flinch. Other dogs will hear one pop and they will hide in terror. Last night, I had that experience with Homer, my beagle.

I recently learned that he didn't like the sound of fireworks. It just takes the slightest sound when we were out for a walk. I tried to take him fuarther and he refused to budge. I turned around to go home after just reaching the corner and Homer couldn't get home fast enough. The same thing happened today and it wasn't even sunset yet.

Luckily, once Homer is back at home, after his initial scare, he calms down and will not go outside until the noise stops. One good thing about the 4th of July is the fact that after one big night, things go back to normal. But, if your dog gets anxiety easily, it can be unbearable for that dog as well as the owner. They will pant, shiver and drool until the noise is gone.

How To Manage Anxiety

Up to 20% of dogs suffer from noise anxiety. However, in time, it can be desensitized. Here are some tips:

  • Don't coddle your dog! While we think our words and praise will be comforting, it's just reinforcing that it's okay for the dog to act that way. It's best to ignore the sounds, because if you don't make it a big deal, then your dog is more inclined to follow your lead.
  • Let them hide. We may worry about our dog being isolated, but ideally, dogs will want to be in a safe place when they are fearful. You can even arrange a bed or a pile of blankets as a haven for your dog.
  • Close the windows and draw the drapes. Insulate and drown out the sounds. Dogs won't see the flashes of bright light as much, and the sounds will be more muffled. Also, sounds from the tv, radio or even living in a noisy area will distract your dog too.
  • Take 'em out early and frequently. The extra walks will get rid of their excess energy will tire them out and may even help them to sleep through it.
  • Use an anxiety aid. Some shirts like the Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap are great for alleviating anxiety

Let's Discuss!

Those are my thoughts for dogs with fireworks anxiety what are yours?

Holiday Wishes

Wishing you all a very happy and safe Independence day.

Related Posts

Anxiety Under Pressure
Scared Dogs
Thundershirt Review
When Your Dog Is Fearful
4th of July Tips


  1. Last night I lit off fireworks with a couple who keep 9 - count 'em, NINE - dogs at their house. The canine tension was truly in the air!

  2. That sounds like you had a lot of fun. I was glad to be inside. It made things more calm with Homer

  3. Yeah, my 4th of July was indeed a blast - literally AND figuratively! You know, is just struck me that the headline for this entry - "One Little Firecracker" - could be a euphemism to describe Cookie, or perhaps Gigi. I don't know why but it seems to fit somehow... :)



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