It is extremely common for dogs (and cats) to suffer from stress and anxiety caused by loud noises, like fireworks or thunder. Dogs have very acute hearing, they can hear sounds that humans are not able to. Studies have found that dogs can hear up to 10 tens times better than us, so it is not surprising that they are terrified by loud bangs every fireworks night.
How can I tell my dog is scared? – watch the video below, this dog is scared of fireworks.
Many of us are conscious of the indications and symptoms of a dog that is suffering from noise stress and anxiety. Some dogs end up being damaging, and many homes have been harmed throughout a thunderstorm or fireworks where dogs are so scared.
For long term success, effort must be put into training your dog to be less troubled. Short term solutions could be achieved using natural anti-anxiety supplements. Fireworks only happen once, maybe twice a year, so it could be beneficial to provide your dog some comfort during this time, without causing more harm or reassuring your dog that is right to feel anxious when a firework goes off. Alternatively, the next time your dog responds to noise, provide him a quick scratch then go about your regular evening activities, without acting any different.
Another thing you could try, is the next time your pooch starts to act stressed, distract him or her with their favourite squeaky toy or yummy treat. In doing this you are helping your pet to associate the distressful noise with a favorable experience. When your pet begins acts less nervous, you should reward him or her with a treat and plenty of praise. Over time your dog will learn to associate loud bangs with a much more positive response.
A crate or better known as a ‘Den’, can provide your dog with a safe place to go and hide. This can make your dog feel more comfortable and provide a safe haven. It is advisable that you place a drape or throw-over to cover the den, making it a dark place. This adds to the sense of security your dog will feel from being inside the den.This does not work for all dogs, as some might harm themselves in an effort to get out of the crate. It would be a good idea to train your pet in the use of a den before fireworks begin. You can find out more about how to do this by searching for ‘crate training’ in google.
A kind of restorative touch, called Tellington Touch has helped many pets with stress and anxiety. The most effective area is the ear. Gently hold the ear flap in between your thumb and forefinger. Carefully stroke from the base of the ear to the ear idea; repeat the movement several times covering different areas of the ear. Use the same fingers to draw small circles at the base of the ear. Try both of the techniques on your dog when he is calm. Try it the next time a storm approaches if he reacts well.
Valerian is a natural herb that acts upon the neuro-receptors in the brain. It may reduce stress and anxiety in your pet and be given 20 minutes before the stressful situation begins. Natural Valerian remedies are often used for a variety of anxiety related triggers, like travel sickness or nervousness with other dogs.
There is a relatively new product, called a Thundershirt, which is a tight fitting dog vest. It provides a gentle yet constant pressure to your dog’s body. It is the constant pressure that has a relaxing effect on dogs. This doesn’t work for all dogs, but it can provide relaxation to a distressed dog, so is an option to be considered. Making use of pressure to ease stress and anxiety has actually been a common practice for several years. If you are a little strapped for cash you could make your own Thundershirt by firmly covering your dogs body in a piece of fabric. The fabric must cover your dog’s chest and back, as these are the area where the pressure causes the relaxing effect.
Hopefully, this post has provided a number of possible solutions for dealing with dog anxiety and stress. Whatever you budget or level of confidence, there is something for you to try. Hopefully, by be able to recognise the warning signs of your dog feeling stressed, you will be able to act upon this and provide your dog with some relief. It is not pleasant for us to see our dogs distressed and surely is worse for the dog.