Fireworks and Fido: Preparing Your Dog for a Stress-Free 4th of July
Are you stressed out thinking about the upcoming fireworks?? Are you already busy planning your trip to the vet for medication or planning on staying home rather than enjoying the show??
Training and desensitization is always the healthiest approach and we're here to help walk you through some of the most basic steps so that your dog can be more confident around loud noises, thunderstorms, and fireworks.
The easiest way to start this process is in the house with a speaker. While you're playing with, engaging with, or feeding your dog, start to play thunderstorms, fireworks, or even doorbells on the speaker at a low volume. This will start to condition your dog to think about playtime, food, or another reward rather than to be stressed. As your dog notices the speaker less, you gradually start to increase the volume until it's as loud as possible while your dog is fully engaged with the activity or you.
From there you can start to take your dog outside under a covered patio on a leash and try to play with the rain or from a large distance with fireworks going on! As your dog grows more confident with each step you slowly add in more distractions or reduce the distance away from the stimulus.
Dogs will always be happier when they don't feel stressed around thunderstorms or fireworks so be proactive and help show them why they don't need to be stressed. There is no rush to this process so be sure to take it at your pups speed and never hesitate to reach out with any questions!