Keeping Your Dog Safe During Fireworks

Keeping Your Dog Safe During Fireworks

By Michelle Aragon, Apprentice Behavior Counselor

 

Hello and welcome to another B&B blog! Today we will be discussing about the fireworks during the Fourth of July and how to keep your dog safe and secure. During this holiday, we see a 30-60% increase in lost pets across the country and only 14% return home. To avoid such a tragedy, we will explain the methods you can use to soothe your pet during this loud event and precautions you can take to prevent this from happening.

We must always remember that dogs experience the world by using their senses so noises will be louder and smells will be stronger.  With that in mind, dogs will hear the fireworks louder than we experience them while the smell of gunpowder will be stronger and the dogs will have no idea what is going on around them on top of that. During all that confusion and terror, a dog’s instinct is to run far away from whatever the noises are which is why we recommend keeping your pets indoors during the Fourth of July (and New Year’s) fireworks. That does not guarantee that your dog will not freak out. To make them feel safer, it is best to have a “safe spot” at home, a place where your dog can run to when they feel they are in danger (this could be a crate covered with a blanket). Make sure escape routes are accounted for. Close the doors and windows securely as well as the blinds if you are able to see the fireworks. Play some relaxing music so the fireworks won’t be too loud. Engaging your dog in play or even doing a quick training session may help get your dog’s mind off the fireworks. Think of this as celebrating the Fourth of July with your dog minus the scary loud noises! If your dog is a yard dog we recommend keeping them indoors. Out of panic, your dog will try to climb fences or gates and might get injured. Better to be safe than sorry!


If you want to help your dog to overcome their fear of fireworks we recommend planning ahead. Months of training has to be put in in order to desensitize your dog from fireworks. It is never a good idea to just put your dog in the situation from jump. Start at home and play firework noises from your phone, computer, or tablet. Begin with a low volume and increase slowly as you progress. Remember to have that “safe spot” available to your dog - we don’t want to rush them. Treat and praise them when they react positively to the noises.

Safety must always be a priority! Remember to check and confirm that your dog’s I.D tags, harness/collar, and leash are in good condition and fit properly. Making sure your pet has the proper identification is essential. Micro-chipping is highly suggested, especially in NYC!

If you are uncomfortable or unsure of putting your dog through any situation then it is best not to. Be safe and have fun!

Biscuits and Bath offers training classes, private lessons, train-and-play sessions, and home phone consultations with our trainers. Ask about what is best for you and your dog!