It’s a very common problem among pet owners; having a dog that is afraid of fireworks. Every time the season comes around and your neighbors start shooting off fireworks in their backyard, your dog gets scared and starts to bark or whine relentlessly. No matter how sorry for the dog your feel or how much you wish you could get the barking to stop, it is important to realize that you’re not alone. Many pet owners deal with this exact same problem, and finding a solution may seem like an impossible task if you don’t have previous experience.
Most commonly, dogs will be afraid of the sound that is accompanied by fireworks. For the same reason that many dogs react negatively to thunderstorms, loud sounds that the dog doesn’t understand can be frightening and intimidating. Couple that with the bright flashes of exploding fireworks or flashes of lightning and you have a recipe for one scary event.
Additionally, there is another type of fear that dogs can form over the years of bright objects. This means that even quite fireworks such as sparklers would cause these dogs to bark or become agitated which can lead to other issues down the line. Since there isn’t any sound associated with sparklers while they burn, the fear is completely visual and usually easier to cure. However, it is still a long process and will usually take a few weeks to see genuine results that last.
First, you’ll want to get some video of sparklers burning that you can play on the television in your living room. There are all sorts of great videos on YouTube that should do the trick. With your dog’s favorite treats in hand, you’ll want to make sure your pet is comfortable and ready to go, then turn on the video. As the video plays, praise your pet for being good and reward them with treats. This makes a positive experience for them while they are seeing the burning sparklers and eventually they will associate them with something positive.
After you’ve successfully used the video technique for a few weeks, you can move on to the real thing. I usually recommend starting with sparklers during the day because they are less intimidating to dogs, then gradually work later and later in the day with the sparklers until you’re able to do them at night. As I stated before, don’t expect to be using sparklers freely in the next few days; this process will take a while to complete.
Hopefully, with enough time and patience, you can successfully help your dog that is afraid of sparklers. Just remember that you need to praise the dog repeatedly and make it a positive experience by using their favorite treats and you should be able to start making progress in no time.
- Making Fireworks More Fun to Watch
- Protecting Children’s Hands from Sparklers
- Enjoying Fireworks with Children
- New Fireworks Toy for Safe Indoor Fun