In celebrating our nation's birthday we frequently express our
joy in fireworks displays. Unfortunately, these can terrify
many dogs and pose risks to their safety should they try to take
flight to escape the loud noises. Dogs have been known to run
away, break leashes, jump through plate glass windows, jump fences
and dig under fences as their flight response takes hold.
Ensure your dog has lots of exercise prior to an expected
fireworks display. If you normally walk for 30 minutes,
consider walking for 60 minutes. An exhausted dog will be
Use canine safe ear plugs to block the noise from the
fireworks. The loud noises from the fireworks trigger a dog's
nervous system and as a result they become uncertain, afraid or
shy. Running away from the noise is a survival mechanism, so
by shielding your dog from the loud noise, you may be able to
minimize the nervous behaviors.
Ensure that your dog has been microchipped and that the ID tags
on his/her collar are up to date (and that the collar is around
his/her neck) so if an escape does happen, he/she can be more
easily returned quickly and safely.
Be proactive. If you learn that your dog is nervous around
fireworks, start working on some conditioning exercises to reduce
his/her anxiety for the next time.
Distract your dog
Close the blinds, create a comfortable hiding place and allow
your dog to go there to feel safe.
Put on some music or the TV to help mask the outside
Use games, obedience exercises or even a treadmill to redirect
the focus of your dog.
Support your dog
Let your dog be with you and maintain a calm and normal
Maintain calm and assertive energy instead of getting frustrated
or feeling sorry for your dog as your dog will pick up on this
energy and his/her anxiety will be reinforced.
Reward your dog for any calm behavior by giving treats or
Ensure your dog has direct supervision to prevent an injury or
escape. If you are not able to supervise your dog on the
night of a planned fireworks display, consider having a responsible
chaperone for your pooch instead so they will stay safe.
On Canada Day, please think about your pooch and how he/she
feels around fireworks when you are making your plans.