Why do dog’s get scared by fireworks and loud noises?
Due to their keen hearing, dogs may become anxious around fireworks and other unexpectedly loud noises. There is no warning before the fireworks go off, and it is impossible to predict how long the loud booms and whistles will last. Disorientation, worry, and distress are all caused by this.
Fortunately, not all dogs will experience this reaction especially, if they were properly trained from birth to one year of age. Don’t stress, it is still possible to train older dogs to become accustomed to loud noises so that they will eventually respond calmly too. In either situation it will require patience and persistence but effort is certainly worth it. The payoff is a contented pet who can withstand hearing fireworks without getting scared and fleeing to hide.
What does your dog’s sound desensitization to fireworks involve?
Dog desensitization is the process of gradually lessening an animal's negative response to a source of anxiety over time. Counterconditioning is the process of changing an animal's emotional response to a source of anxiety from a negative/anxious response to a positive response.
For fireworks, the procedure is exposing your dog to audio recordings of fireworks over the course of a few months, first very quietly and then with progressively with increased volume. Starting this process with a NEWBORN puppy will give you the best outcome. This is another reason why carefully selecting a breeder is important. For adults with a fearful response already in place, beginning at a minimum of at least six months before the fireworks season will deliver you best results.
How to help your pet get used to loud noises.
First, an audio of fireworks.
We have created a a YouTube video to get you started.
Start playing the fireworks audio when your pet is in their safe place. Begin at a very low volume so that they either don't react at all or only look to the sound's source. Only ten to thirty seconds should pass after this reaction.
Give your pet a treat after each loud noise only if their reaction isn’t a negative response. Ignore a negative response and begin again at a much lower volume. Again, only reward the responses you are wanting. Ignore the negative responses.
To continue to altering your pet's response to the noises on the audio, drop a small piece of their preferred food or treat on the ground for them after each noise and a positive response.
Second, increase the volume of the audio of fireworks as their negative reactions lessens or disappears.
Once they’ve stopped showing any signs of anxiety in response to the fireworks audio and seems able to engage in other activities happily while the audio is playing, you can increase the volume. Give your pet 10 to 30 seconds to get used to the increased volume, then start to interact by offering some treats or toys after each loud noise.
Lastly, as you train, change the volume.
Start varying the volume consistently once your pet is coping well with the loud level that mimics fireworks. Continue to maintain the general trend of increasing volume and vary it by making it lower as well as higher; this will improve your dog’s response. Don’t forget play, and treats should be used to encourage your dog’s positive behavior when it responds calmly to fireworks.
How supplements can help.
If you have an older dog or puppy that is already fearful of loud or unexpected noises, I highly recommend Chillax or CBD Mega to help their chances of success during this desensitization exercise.
Stay safe and wag on!
Down Home Doodle