My Dogs Are Afraid Of Fireworks

#dog #dogs #puppy #puppies — We had a national holiday up here in Canada yesterday (Victoria Day) and fireworks are a traditional pastime activity.  We also have fireworks for Canada Day on July 1 much like the US does for July 4.  Although fireworks are great entertainment for us, many dogs are afraid of them.

There were lots of residents who lit store bought fireworks last night and my two dogs certainly didn’t like them.  It’s not so much the visuals but the actual sounds of the explosions that there are scared of.

I made the mistake of taking them outside for a walk to get some air and maybe watch some fireworks out in the open.  My girl Roxie in particular became even more nervous outside with heavy panting.  And both of them were not walking as uniformly as usual even with their Gentle Leaders attached.

Since we were out in a large open soccer field with no traffic around, I was curious to see what they would do if I dropped their leashes for a brief second.  To my surprise, Roxie started running but I was prepared for this.  Chester on the other hand stuck by me.

I caught Roxie pretty quickly and brought them both home.  Roxie was panting hard probably for at least another 20 minutes before she calmed down.

Both of my dogs stayed indoors during past years of fireworks with what I would say mild anxiety for a little bit.  But I guess with the windows closed, the impact of the noise from the explosions are much less.  Another weird thing this time around was Roxie was much more affected than her brother was.  Roxie is usually the more dominant and less nervous dog in general between the two of them but in this case, she was not.

So for the next holiday where there will be fireworks explosions in the area on July 1, I’m definitely going to keep both dogs indoors with the windows closed maybe even with the TV or music playing to mask some of the noise from outside.  I heard reports from a few of my neighbours that their dogs were also scared this weekend from the explosions.  Fireworks and dogs, at least my dogs, just don’t mix unfortunately.

So if you have a new puppy and fireworks do happen in your area, you might want to be careful on how they are introduced to them.  Maybe keeping them indoors would be the best option.

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  • Great suggestions Clint!

    My 5 year old Miniature Schnauzer, Maggie, goes into immediate flight at the sound of any popping noise. Maggie was not always that way, she used to love watching lightning and thunder storms with me when she was young – we back onto a ravine so it’s quite a view in a storm.

    I’m not sure what triggered it, but now in thunder storms and especially during fireworks Maggie suffers a lot. Unfortunately, one holiday means at least 3 days of fireworks and the length of it builds her fears and adds to her trauma. My neighbor also has a 2 year old Miniature Schnauzer, Lukas, and he is exactly the same. However, they were able to pin point his trigger to noise … they were replacing their flooring to hardwood one weekend and didn’t realise the effect it had on him until they found him in the laundry room in a state of panic.

    In my observation and as you’ve pointed out with Chester and Roxie, dogs react differently. Another neighbor’s Pug/Terrier Cross, Deedee, reacts to noise by barking profusely and by the end of a long weekend their nerves are a wreck. The Schnauzers completely shut down, freeze and tremble uncontrollably. They will hold their bladder for long periods to avoid going outside. Last night was the first night without noise and it took some doing to coax the them back out for their pack walk in the evening.

    My vet recommended a very good product that helps calm Maggie while she is in the house during fireworks and thunderstorms and during milder events we get by just fine. It’s called BioCalm and is a completely natural product that does not drug them (or I would not use it) that supresses their ability to respond with fear – here is a brochure http://www.centaurva.com/information/biocalm_brochure.pdf
    Although, it was not enough for this past 3 days of fireworks.

    So, I totally concur with your suggestion … get your pet familiar with noise at a very young age. As Ceaser, The Dog Wisperer always says … “Fear” is the hardest state of mind to treat in your pet and it is the one he finds the most challenging to treat.