Has The Loud, Startling Noises And Fireworks Influence On Dog Anxiety?
It’s almost time to ring in the New Year; though not all dogs are as excited about the festivities as humans are. While gearing up for a day of celebratory fireworks, music and camaraderie, there’s another thing dog owners should consider: nearly 20% of all dogs have anxiety-based reactions to loud, startling noises and fireworks.
Dog Anxiety manifests itself in numerous ways. Ordinarily calm dogs might excessively bark, shake, hide under the bed, behave unusually or show signs of aggression. In some cases, beloved pets even run away from home. According to the Humane Society, holidays are often the highest stray-intake days, due to the number of pets that run away as a fear reaction.
The cause of the New Year’s Eve jitters is different for every dog. While many are understandably frightened by the noise, others get anxiety from the bright flashing light, crowds of people, shouting or general commotion. If you’ve identified the root of the panic for your furry friend, The Tampa Dog Wizard recommends a few simple ways to prepare your pet for the big day.
- Take your dog for a long walk leading up to the evening. Exercise is a natural sedative that will put your pet more at ease.
- Use a harness, rather than a collar, if your pet must go outdoors with you at any point. The harness will ensure better control of your pet if he does demonstrate flight behavior. Never let your pet loose outdoors if he shows signs of these types of anxiety, even in a fenced backyard. An up-to-date pet ID tag is a must.
- Keep your pet in a small, dim area away from the commotion. Crating can be a good idea. Surround your dog with his favorite toys and familiar blanket. Turn up some classical music to distract from the commotion.
- Do not coddle or scold an anxiety-ridden dog. You can send the wrong message and end up reinforcing their anxious behavior or instilling more fear.
While these tips and tricks will help in the moment to get through the upcoming holiday, proper training and long-term desensitization is necessary for the health, safety and lifelong happiness of your pet. The trained professionals of The Tampa Dog Wizard would love to teach you and your pet how to solve dog anxiety and overcome the fear together. Happy New Year!
The trainers of Tampa Dog Wizard Company, Florida.