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Fear of fireworks in dogs

Posted in : on 24-01-2023

A lot of dogs suffer from fear of fireworks. Many dog owners know that new years eve a very stressful evening is for your dog. But also during other months can it happen those fireworks are lightened off. Every dog reacts differently to fireworks, but luckily are there some things you can do to support your dog from within to reduce fear and stress caused by fireworks.

Fireworks and dogs

There are different reasons why fireworks cause fear in dogs. A far from fireworks could occur because dogs don’t get the chance to get used to the fireworks. Many dogs are spending most of their time inside. Most houses are well-isolated these days, which means that loose bangs from fireworks are muted for a bit. But at new year’s eve this all changes as a lot of fireworks are set off close, which causes a shocked reaction. A dog isn’t used to the sound and flashes after all.

Another reason that dogs get stressed from fireworks is due to their great sense of smell. When fireworks are set off, the gunpowder gets fired up. The smell of gunpowder could cause fear even when there isn’t a detonation. When a dog smells the gunpowder then he is immediately alert, or afraid, of the bang that might follow. This means that your dog may be stressed all month,

Recognizing fear and stress in dogs

Stress en angst bij honden kan zich uiten op veel verschillende manieren. Het is belangrijk om de signalen goed te herkennen, zodat je op gepaste manier kan reageren wanneer je hond tekenen van vuurwerkangst laat zien. Stress en angst bij honden kan je door onder andere de volgende signalen herkennen:

Stress and fear can be recognized in different ways in dogs. It is very important to recognize the signals, so you can react accordingly when your dogs shows signs of fear due to fireworks. Stress and fear can be recognized by the following signals:

  • Beeping
  • Panting
  • Not wanting to eat and drink
  • Not wanting to go outside
  • Run away, flee or hide
  • Shrunken or low posture
  • Anxious facial expression
  • Ears flat or to the side
  • Tail between the legs
  • Reacting extremely alertly
  • Generally a nervous impression

Tips to reduce fear of fireworks in dogs

Fear of fireworks is bothersome for both dog and owner. Does your dog suffer from extreme fear of fireworks? Try to be in time to go to a behavioral therapist. Don’t do this the week before new years eve, but start earlier. We also have a few other tips to get through new years eve as pleasantly as possible.

∙ Stay calm. Try to remain calm and ignore the bangs. By acting that nothing is wrong, you will convey a confident and calm impression. The more you are relaxed in this situation, the more relaxed your dog gets. This also means that you have to ignore your dog. Ignore the fireworks, but also support your dog during these times.

Close all doors, windows, and shutters. Close all your windows, doors, and shutters to protect your dog from all the noise outside. A lot of dogs get more relaxed because of this. Some types of fireworks also have flashes and could cause your dog to get stressed. When you don’t have shutters, try to hang something in front of the openings.

∙ Leash your dog. Going outside is not an option, but your dog will still have to do its needs. To make the walking tours as stress-free as possible, might it be a good idea to go to a quiet place. You can go to a forest for example. But always leash your dog, to retain the risk that your dog gets scared and runs off.  

∙ Distraction. When your dog isn’t that stressed, but more alert than usual, you can also offer some distraction. Buy a new toy or hide snacks in the house. Offer a nice dog bone or turn on the tv so the sounds outside don’t seem that hard.


Tips to support your dog from within

Next to the just discussed tips to go as smoothly as possible through new years eve, you can also support your dog from the inside to reduce the stress of fireworks. Please note that these supplements work at their best after using them for about 3 to 4 weeks. So preferably start on time when giving these supplements and herbs to your dog.

Calm & Relax: A mix of minerals and herbs could support your dog in stressful situations. This package consists of two kinds of magnesium, passionflower, and L-Tryptophan. This helps to contribute to relaxation and inner peace.

Magnesium citrate: Magnesium is a mineral with an important function in the body of a dog. It contributes to healthy muscle function and good bone density. Magnesium also stimulates relaxation and works stress reducing.

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