How to calm the fear of firecrackers in a dog
Fear in dogs in strange situations for them is something natural. As in any other animal, this feeling serves to create a state of alert to a possible danger to one's survival. Now, fear can become a problem when it becomes a phobia. That is, terror before some stimulus that does not suppose a real danger, as it is the case of the thunderclaps or the fireworks.
In fact, many dogs are afraid of firecrackers. This is why since we offer you a series of tips and tricks on how to calm the fear of firecrackers in a dog, we hope you will be served!
What is acustofobia and what is your problem
Acustofobia is fear, terror or noise phobia. In itself it is not a problem, since we have all been startled at some time by a sudden and strong sound. But it can be when we begin to relate these noises in a habitual way with a threat, when in reality they do not pose any danger to us.
This is also the problem of many dogs with acustofobia. They suffer because they think that the noise of the firecrackers is something that is going to affect them and that added to that they do not understand what the pyrotechnics is, it generates anxiety. We must solve this fear and teach our pet to face it so that it does not suffer, and neither do we.
Causes of fear of firecrackers in a dog
Many times, the fact that a dog has a fear of firecrackers depends on their race and character. It is known that small breeds tend to be more nervous and, therefore, sensitive to what happens around them .
On the other hand, if your dog is a shy animal, it will also have a tendency to distrust its environment and, consequently, to be more scary with any strange sound, which the dog will perceive at first as a threat.
We can not change the character of a dog, but it is true that our behavior when the situation of panic for him will greatly affect the consideration of our friend to the firecrackers, from that moment and on.
The dog copies what you do and feels what you feel
Especially in the first months, your dog does and feels everything you do . For him you are his guide and from the first day he stepped on your house, he became your shadow. So from now on you should know that if you are stressed, nervous, etc., all this will be transmitted to your faithful companion.
Knowing this, educating your pet becomes a task of personal self-awareness on the part of the owner. Since what you show is what you will transmit and what you will perceive as something that should be normal. Therefore, you have to be careful especially during your learning period, during the first months of life.
Transmitting trust is the most important thing
To understand how to treat fear in dogs in general, we must bear in mind that there are certain errors that are very common but, once we identify them, we can easily correct them.
A very common mistake in a crisis situation with your dog is to go immediately to pet him and make him pamper, so he stops being nervous. This reaction, far from calming him, what he does is confuse him, since your caresses will make him interpret that there is something good in his behavior, because you reward him for it.
On the contrary, when a dog is upset and feels fear (for example, you are at home, a firecracker sounds and starts barking desperately) what we should do is ignore it and remain calm .
As we have pointed out before, your dog copies your behavior and is infected by your feelings. That is why, if you are calm, he will do the same, since he will understand that if that sound does not pose a threat to you, neither is it for him.
Ignore the dog's behavior as much as possible
To learn more about how to calm the fear of firecrackers in a dog, we advise you not to scold or reward it, but to try to ignore its behavior.
Neither is it that you completely ignore the nerves of your dog. The most important thing is that you do not get upset yourself too. So, if you see that he is very nervous, go home and do some quiet activity, such as: reading a book, relaxing music, watching a movie ... Anything that keeps you quiet and he transmits the serenity that You need to understand that nothing bad is going to happen to either of you.
Also, use it to not recognize as your home, or place to be as usual, your bed and sofa. To do this, you should know that the best place you can be is your bed or your house, although that is a problem that sometimes also have to correct the owners since it is easy to indulge in excess to our pets. So that, when you are frightened by firecrackers, it is easier for you to stay in your place put your bed or house near where you are, for example next to the sofa or your bed.
Divert your dog's attention to something else
One technique that is used to treat dog phobias is to perform an action that you like very much at the same time that the alert is given. In fact, this is a trick to divert the attention of your dog to something other than the noises of fireworks and that is usually very effective, as long as the acustofobia is not very serious.
That is, if you want to know how to reassure a dog scared by rockets, if your pet is very scared at a time when there is a strange sound and you see that it starts to get restless, try throwing his favorite toy and make him play with the. In this way, you will understand that although there is noise there are more important things.
It is recommended to practice this trick with sounds of less intensity than what really generates fear, such as firecrackers. Thus, your dog will normalize the game and when the real fear situation occurs it will not surprise you so much that you get to play with it, and it will probably go along with you.
Consult your veterinarian about the use of medications
If you really need your dog to be calm for a specific moment, you can always choose to consult a veterinarian about using some medication to calm him down .
Although medicating is never a definitive solution to the problem, we understand that if you want is a night of verbena, or a similar situation, and you know that your pet will suffer a lot, the priority is to calm down, and from then on, deal with a canine trainer and / or apply our advice.
If you are going to medicate it, a good option is the canine pheromone pacifier. A liquid that goes in a diffuser that plugs into the current and generates particles that calm your canine companion. As always, we strongly recommend that before taking any medical solution consult your reference veterinarian and do not medicate your dog on your own.
How to prevent fear in dogs
Take your pet from childhood to relate with other dogs will help you lose the fear of many things and get used to sharing your space with other elements that generate noise, that is, learn to socialize properly.
If you really have a very insecure dog, we recommend that you find a canine friend and walk him whenever you can with him. It could be a friend of yours who has a dog with whom he gets along, or take him to an area for dogs in a park where the same companions always go and from time to time meet new ones. In this lesson the goal is for your dog to understand that his space is shared with other elements, and not to feel that his space only includes the house, his bed and the sofa next to you.
If it has been helpful to know how to calm the fear of firecrackers in a dog, surely you will also be interested to know what to do if my dog is afraid of people.