New Year's Eve is fast approaching! Here are some tips for firework season:
Plan ahead! We know when firework season is which allows us to be proactive!
Crate train your dog in the weeks before.
Practice with firework sounds from YouTube.
Plan your day so Fido has time to exercise & potty WELL BEFORE the fireworks begin.
Prep your dog’s favourite frozen treat (and a backup).
Mentally prepare yourself to stay calm & confident.
Tire your dog out! Before the fireworks start:
Exercise and fulfill your dog! Go on a structured walk and get some play in! Fetch, tug, chase, scent work, hide & seek, or whatever your dog loves. Work on engagement while you foster the release of dopamine for your dog. Work on tricks, do obedience, give them a deep tissue massage, and have fun! Make sure they are fulfilled so they are ready for a deep sleep when the evening hits.
After your walk and play session, give your dog some down time in their crate or on place to foster a calm mindset.
Take them to pee early!
Don’t be that person trying to get their dog to potty during the fireworks.
Give them ample opportunities to eliminate BEFORE dusk.
Plan their water intake, pick up their water dish by 6pm.
Be aware, chugging water is a sign of stress, but you don’t have to worry about that because you’ve already picked up their water dish!
Crate them! A LOT of accidents happen when dogs are scared as they can become irrational. If your dog is free range; they may hurt themselves, hurt you, escape your home, become destructive or ingest foreign objects. Avoid all of that by simply crating them BEFORE the fireworks begin. Depending on your dog, you may want to limit exposure to new people and places to lower the potential risk of stress. All dogs are different and some may find change or meeting new people stressful. You know your dog best, plan accordingly. Since you were proactive your dog is prepared:
they are crate trained (you started practicing weeks before firework season).
they are exercised and fulfilled.
they have experienced the sound of fireworks from YouTube.
they have eaten and eliminated well before dusk.
they have their favourite frozen treat waiting for them in their crate.
When the fireworks start:
Keep your dog inside if they aren’t into fireworks. A photo op is not worth stressing your dog out.
Put on the radio/TV on to drown out the sudden pops of the fireworks.
Put the crate/dog in a cool room where there are limited windows (such as the bathroom in the basement) if your dog is stressed out by fireworks.
Lastly, STAY CALM! Why? Because if you are anxious your dog will mimic that emotion. If you set a calm, cool, collected example, your dog will follow suit.
Plan to be with your dog to provide that calmness in the room.
Avoid talking to, cooing, or fussing over your dog. This will only foster the anxiety in your dog. Sit by them calmly and be there as a strong, calm presence.
This is a guideline for success, they are many variations. Do what is best for your dog and always set them up for success. You got this 💜
Happy New Year everyone! May 2022 bring you health and happiness!