As the new year approaches, many people look forward to celebrating with friends and family. One common tradition in many parts of the world is the use of firecrackers to mark the occasion. These colorful and noisy fireworks are a way to let go of the old year and welcome the new one with a bang.
On New Year’s Eve, as the clock strikes midnight, the sky will be filled with the sound of explosions and the sight of sparkling fireworks. For people, these colorful and noisy firecrackers start the new year “with a bang.” However, if your dogs could speak, all of them would tell you that the New Year is the day they mostly hate.
Why do dogs hate the sound of firecrackers?
Dogs have an acute sense of hearing and are sensitive to loud noises, such as the sound of firecrackers. The sudden, explosive sound can startle and frighten them, causing them to become anxious or even aggressive. In addition, dogs may associate the sound of firecrackers with negative experiences, such as being injured or lost.
This can cause them to develop a fear or phobia of the sound, making them feel stressed and uncomfortable when they hear it. Dog owners must be aware of this and take steps to protect their pets when firecrackers are likely to be used.
How to calm your dog from firecrackers this new year
Desensitize your dog to the sound of fireworks
The best way to calm your dog to firecracker sounds is to use sound training. With sound training, you can make your dog used to the sound of fireworks before the new year.
Here are the steps in training your dog:
- Identify a safe and comfortable area for your dog without any distractions.
- Play a recording of fireworks online at a very low volume.
- Gradually increase the volume over time. Be sure to monitor your dog’s behavior and body language to ensure that they remain comfortable and relaxed.
- Be sure to reward your dog with treats and praise whenever they remain calm and relaxed during the desensitization process. This will help reinforce the desired behavior and make it more likely that your dog will remain calm during fireworks displays.
- Continue to gradually increase the volume and intensity of the fireworks simulation over time, always keeping an eye on your dog’s behavior and comfort level.
- After several weeks of desensitization, your dog should be able to remain calm and relaxed even when exposed to the loud noises and other stimuli associated with fireworks.
Make them wear an anxiety vest
Anxiety vests, also known as calming vests or thunder shirts, apply gentle, constant pressure to a dog’s body, calming the nervous system. This can help to reduce anxiety and fear during fireworks displays or other stressful situations. The vest is a hug, providing the dog with security and comfort.
This new year, you can have your dog wear an anxiety vest to prevent or at least lessen their anxiety towards the sound of firecrackers. The pressure also has a calming effect on the dog’s heart rate and breathing, helping them relax and reduce stress. Additionally, the vest may also help to distract the dog from the loud noises and bright lights of the fireworks.
Tire your dog out
The saying “a tired dog is a happy dog” is one of the reasons why dog owners take their dogs for long walks and mental exercises every day. Physical and mental activities make dogs healthy and less susceptible to destructive chewing, pooping around the house, and barking at other beings.
Going for a long run or playing with your dogs until they’re tired can help during the new year because it makes them physically and mentally exhausted throughout the day. Once they are tired, there are less likely to react to firecrackers because there are chances that they will sleep during the new year.
Create a safe room for your dog
Creating a safe space for your dog this new year can help this new year as well. Firecrackers’ smell, sound, and bright colors can make them more scared. Instead of just letting them outside during New Year’s Eve, you should provide a space where they can hear the fireworks less.
To create a noise-free room for dogs during New Year’s Eve, choose a quiet room in your home as far as possible from the noise of firecrackers. Close all windows and doors to the room to help block out noise and use heavy curtains or blinds to further block out light and noise from outside.
Consider playing white noise or calming music at maximum volume to help drown out any outside noise. You can also provide your dog with plenty of toys and treats to keep them occupied and distracted. Make sure the room is comfortable and cozy, with plenty of soft bedding and blankets. Try to have someone stay with your dog in the room. The person can hug and provide comfort for the dog.
Comfort your dog
Doing at least two of the steps written above can go a long way in making your dog comfortable during the new year. But if your dog is still afraid of firecracker sounds, it will first run toward you. You should console and pet them during the new year as their owner.
These can reduce your dog’s fears, and your dog will understand that they can turn to you whenever they feel scared. Before having a pet-friendly home, your dog should trust you as their owner.
Have a pet-friendly home today
Speaking of pet-friendly homes, Camella provides a safe space for your dogs. We understand the importance of exercising your dog every day. That is why Camella projects have jogging paths for your beloved creatures. Camella also protects your fur babies from stray animals and other dangers by providing an exclusive gated community.