My sister’s dog’s seem to have a fear of noises and the fireworks tend to be near her house. A fireworks show is probably the worst noise a fearful dog can face. Her dog Beau would back himself into the closet as best he could, or under the bed. If you know a night of fireworks is coming up, here are some ways to help your dog stay a little more comfortable.
It’s a good idea to check for the dates of community fireworks displays during celebratory seasons, and make sure your dog’s collar ID and microchip registration are up to date. https://Syracuse.com is generally a great place to find the schedule for fireworks in the area.
Set Up a Quiet Safe Space
What’s the quietist room in your house? For my sister’s dog Beau- it was the closet. The clothes helped muffle the noise and there were no windows to see the flashes of light. Find a place in your home where your dog is comfortable and the sound of fireworks is muffled, like a finished basement or an internal room like a walk-in closet. Close windows and curtains to muffle the sound and block out the light flashes. Spend time with your dog there, with toys and treats, well before fireworks season begins. I like to give some high quality treats, or a frozen Kong that will take my dog a while to work on and take his mind off the sounds.
Go for a long walk or a playdate well before dark
A happily tired dog is a more relaxed dog. Exercise your pup with fun play or a long walk so they are ready to nap when night falls. Make sure their collar or harness is slip-proof, because some people celebrate with firecrackers and other noisemakers before darkness falls.
Try an anxiety wrap
Soft, stretchy jackets and vests built specifically for a dog’s shape are reported to be effective at reducing anxiety. I suggest you slowly introduce your dog to their coat well before fireworks season descends. While I do not have any personal experience with this, Thundershirt and Calmz are well-known brands.
Gently Distract your dog- but don’t fuss over them.
I have always had the best luck with my dogs by just engaging in normal fun activities like playing with a toy at the first sound of fireworks. At the first rumble of fireworks, Declan will give me a look, (“Is that ok?” ) and I grab his favorite stuffed toy and start playing with him or may give him a gentle belly rub. I know it is hard to not be upset when you see your dog is distressed, but if you frantically console them, it may instill in them that something IS wrong. You can certainly sooth your dog, but do so in a calm, reassuring, and positive manner. If your dog has found a safe space however, don’t drag him out of it to play.
Consult a Professional
Is your dog so panicked that he is injuring himself or trying to escape? Dog trainers, dog behaviorists, veterinarians, and veterinary behaviorists can offer a range of options from counter-conditioning to medication. For a behaviorist you may check out https://dacvb.org/
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Come and find your Best Friend!
Second Chance has a unique program near Syracuse N.Y. where inmates train the rescued dogs. This program gives both the dogs and the inmates a second chance in life. Appointments currently required related to Covid-19 protocols.
Meet Will and Grace
Will has a gorgeous grey brown fur and loves his ball. He would prefer a home without cats.
Grace is a sweety that would just love to be by your side.
The city shelter is full and there are just not enough fosters to house all the dogs. Second chance is helping the city shelter out by having the volunteers take care of these two so that an unthinkable fate wouldn’t happen to healthy friendly loveable dogs. Who will find it in their hearts to take in one these adorable creatures.
Please contact Friends of Second Chance ( or B and R bunkhouse)
Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078
Jamesville Second Chance or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Capture your journey with your pet. Nancy Kieffer is a Certified Professional Pet, Equine and Nature Photographer Through Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Nancy serves Central New York, the Adirondacks and Beyond. Capture how you share your life with your pet! It may be a vacation adventure or curled up on the couch with you. Travel assignments welcomed.