I can remember shivering under my bed as a little pup in fear of the loud booms from July 4th fireworks. I still don’t understand why my human enjoys it all!
For the sake of my wife and pups, I put on a brave face but it’s really making all of us anxious and miserable. I wish I could tell my human how I feel so he could make it all go away!
Every dog is unique, although there are many techniques we can use to help ease our furry friend’s anxiety during the peak summer season for fireworks and other loud noises like thunderstorms. Here are three tips to ease your dog’s anxiety:
1. Take note of where your dog goes to hide
If your dog goes to the same spot like under your bed or in a room where he knows it’ll always be dark, you can help him by making it a little bit cozier. Putting out his favorite chew toy or a cuddly blanket to snuggle in (or under!) lets him know this is a safe spot and provides some comfort.
2. Incorporate loud noises into everyday life
Some dogs are desensitized to loud noises because they’re exposed to them more often. You can ease your dog into the summer—and many more to come—by doing things like dropping empty tin cans on the hard floor. Be careful, some dogs may not take kindly to this method. Make sure you don’t force him to continue if he doesn’t seem to be adapting.
3. Rewards for the noise
Get your treats ready the next time a storm comes around for this tip. Try comforting your dog with his favorite treats when the thunder rolls. This way, he’ll realize that when he hears the noise, it’s time for a tasty snack!
Bonus Tip: Distraction
What’s that over there? Distraction can also be a good way to take your dog’s mind off of the loud noises around them. Bringing out his favorite tug toy for a quick tug of war game could help him get lost in something fun…instead of within himself as a result of the anxiety he’s feeling.