Big bangs and panicky dogs

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It’s that time of the year again; when we humans get to celebrate and (some) dogs get terrified due to fireworks and firecrackers. It’s not a problem for every dog, but for some, it’s an event with lasting consequences. 

There are ways of dealing with it; some work better than others, but it really depends on the dog. Here are some ideas for getting your dog ready and through the season of big bangs.

Prevention and preparation:

  • Precondition your dog in advance by playing him audio (video too, if they are afraid of the lights) of fireworks and firecrackers on a quiet and later on normal setting (preferably not in the same session). Act normally during this, without giving them comfort hugs – if they feel you’re worried it’s only gonna make things worse.
  • If this isn’t your first rodeo and you know your dog gets very panicky, then talk to a veterinarian about getting them some mild sedative for D-day (under no circumstances should you try and give them human sedatives as you would most likely end up killing your dog). But this is a somewhat drastic course of action.
  • Prepare your home. The house/yard should be open for wandering but escape-proof in case your dog gets really panicked and tries to run. Prepare some blankets in their favorite spots (sometimes the noises are the quietest in bathrooms, so that’s one of the spots you might consider) and open the doors for them to choose their place.

During the cannonade:

  • If your dog is scared of the light flashes of the fireworks, consider pulling the curtains closed so the flashes of light aren’t visible.
  • If your dog is scared of the bangs, play some white noise in the background (TV, Radio, etc.) to drown out some of the outside noise.
  • ACT NATURALLY. Don’t drag your dog into your lap and give them a death hug. If the dog thinks their human is worried they’ll panic even more. Act calm and composed and do things normally around them. If they sense you’re calm, they’ll worry less.

There are more ideas available in the vast expanses of the internet, but these are the tried and tested approaches that have shown a measure of success in certain cases. So good luck to you and your pupper during the holiday season, may it be a peaceful and calm one. 

Good news !

The goverment of the Republic of Slovenia has adopted a ban and the sale of pyrotechnics. 

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