With summer comes fireworks season, this we know, but it certainly feels like the fireworks arrived sooner and in wayyy higher volume this year with fireworks going off all nights of the week and all hours of the day.
So what do you do if you have a nervous dog (or dogs!) who does NOT like fireworks season? Here are some tips from Dr. Terri Bright, the lead dog behaviorist at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, as told to PEOPLE.
These are especially important with 4th of July coming up next week.
Understand how sensitive your dog's ears are: and help them drown out the sounds of the fireworks. The best way to do this, is the find a quiet, comfortable area for your dog and turn on the TV or radio. The sound of the TV or radio will help reduce the sound of fireworks, also make sure you close all windows and doors in your home.
Exercise your dog: the more time you spend exercising your dog during the day, the more tired they will be at night, which makes them less likely to have an intense anxious reaction to the fireworks at night.
Distract them: if you introduce new toys and treats to play with, they will be more distracted from the sounds coming from outside the house. If your dog is likely to hide when they get scared, make sure you have a closet or safe space for them to run to.
Be aware of having them outside with you: even if you haven't experienced your dog being afraid of fireworks, be careful taking them outside with you on a night like the 4th of July when there will be more fireworks than your average weekend night. If you are taking them outside with you, make absolutely sure they cannot get out of their collar or harness.
Overall, just be aware of how your dog is reacting to the fireworks. And try not to leave them at home alone on big firework nights/weekends if they are nervous.
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