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Your dog is afraid of firecrackers and fireworks? These Dog Drugs Work

What to do when the dog is afraid of fireworks?

Is your dog afraid of fireworks too?

Every year, around New Year's Eve, large numbers of owners of four-legged pets come to veterinary offices.

You probably already know why:

the reason for sudden visits to the vet is precisely the dog's panicky fear of firecrackers from New Year's Eve.

But whether a visit the day before December 31st is a good idea? Whether sedatives for the dog in the form of tablets or injections is a good solution? Is there any way to prepare the pooch for this night??

If you want to know the answer to these questions, I encourage you to read the entire article.

You will learn what you can do to help your dog on New Year's Eve and what methods I use to prepare pets for this difficult night.

  • Why your dog is afraid of fireworks?
  • How do dogs that are afraid of fireworks behave??
  • How to relieve the stress of firecrackers?
    • Desensitization
    • Safe angle
    • Calming sounds
    • Walk
  • Other methods of calming your dog down
  • Sedative medications for the dog
  • What can you do when the dog is afraid of firecrackers?

Why your dog is afraid of fireworks?

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How dogs hear fireworks?

There is a dog's sense of hearing much more sensitive than ours, human.

Dogs can hear sounds that the human ear cannot pick up .

So imagine how unpleasant for your four-legged friend must be the sounds of New Year's fireworks. For us, the sound of shots is a bit too intense, for a dog it has to be compared with the bombing of a neighboring building!

In addition, there is stress related to loneliness (the owner is often not at home, he celebrates the New Year), with strange flashes in the sky, or the owner overly comforting the dog.

This is what this day looks like from the dog's perspective

It is also worth mentioning that the fear of firecrackers may have a background in the past (e.g. a firecracker explosion in close company of a dog), but it can also occur spontaneously.

We observe racial predisposition - the fear of New Year's Eve gunshots is especially intense small breed dogs (such as Yorkshire Terrier), and hereditary predisposition - the mother teaches her puppies to fear.

So it's not the pooch's fault that he is so scared

Below you will find the symptoms of stress in your dog - you will know that your pooch is scared.

How do dogs that are afraid of fireworks behave??

How dogs that are afraid of fireworks behave?

Symptoms sound phobia - because that is what the fear of sound is scientifically called, there are:

  • panting, trembling,
  • drooling and dilation of the pupils,
  • constantly going back and forth, walking around the house,
  • hiding,
  • looking for a guardian and demanding his constant attention,
  • urination,
  • defecation,
  • emptying the anal glands,
  • escape attempts - kicking, jumping through windows or walking through doors, running away,
  • not eating,
  • not listening to the owner,
  • barking at fireworks and howling,
  • obsessive behavior, e.g. licking paws.

How to relieve the stress of firecrackers?

First, work on controlling your dog's sound phobia can start much earlier - getting your pet used to noise and loud sounds.

Dogs are able to learn to tolerate uncomfortable noises for their ears - let's take an example here police dogs, or hunting dogs.

How to do it? Read on later in the article.


One of the methods is the so-called method of desensitization.

It consists in exposing the dog to a sound that is unpleasant for him, e.g. by playing back the recording of the shots, while associating it with a pleasant feeling, e.g. serving treats.

When the pet starts to get used to it, we increase the volume of the recording until the dog does not react to unpleasant sounds.

Below you will find a video that is perfectly suited for this purpose.

Remember that if your the doggy is terrified of a bang, it is worth consulting a behaviorist in advance.

Safe angle

Safe dog bed

The second thing you need to remember is preparing a safe angle for your pet.

For this purpose, it is best to prepare a familiar bed or a blanket in which he can bury himself.

If you go out, leave your pet a sweater or sweatshirt to remind him of you.

When leaving the house, close the windows, leave the radio or even the TV turned on. Some people also cover all gaps in the house (windows, doors) with towels.

If you stay at home, let your pet hide in a safe place for him. Let it calm down there.

If you have a familiar dog who is not afraid of fireworks, it is worth introducing the dogs a few days before the planned shots, so that they spend this traumatic night together.

Calming sounds

How to calm a dog?

Don't scream for him, don't cheer him up too much - your interest can stimulate his fear even more.

Talk to him slowly and in an undertone, you can try to distract him with your favorite toy.

It may sound funny, but I read my pooch's books, calm and quiet - he wasn't so nervous then.

Some people play classical music or try to plug their ears with special plugs or cotton wool (be careful not to put them too deeply).


A long walk with the dog

You must also not forget to walk the dog, even before the first shots.

Make this walk a little longer than usual.

This is to meet his physiological needs, but also to reduce stress, because during exercise, serotonin is released - the hormone of happiness.

Remember that your dog must be on a leash when walking.

It is also worth mentioning the chip of the quadruped. Should he run away from fear, it will be easier for you to find him.

Other methods of calming your dog down

I also want to mention other methods of calming the dog down, such as dog pheromones or vests Anxiety Wrap or Thundershirt.

Pheromones for dogs come in the form of collar, sprays if contact cartridges.

It is best to introduce them a month before New Year's Eve - so that they can start working.

Their price varies within limits 50-200 PLN, depending on the form of administration you choose.

The second method of calming your pet is based on the theory that a little pressure on your dog's body will soothe his frayed nerves.

This is how dog vests work, and the price is around PLN 200.

Some people also use bandage wrapping methods, but this requires knowledge.

Currently, some owners also use Bach drops matched to the individual needs of the dog.

However, I have a lot of reserve for them - they work great for some dogs, for others you can't see the difference.

If you want to reduce the effects of the fear of fireworks, you can also a bit change your diet your pooch.

There are calming foods on the market, e.g. Royal Canin Calm, which must be introduced about a month before the stressful situation.

You can also add to the feed vitamin B6 - it tones the nervous system.

To quieten your dog a bit, you can also think about feeding him herbal mixtures, as syrups, capsules, tablets, e.g.:

  • Kalm Aid,
  • Stress Out,
  • Dolvit Calm.

Their cost is approx 10 - 30 PLN for the packaging.

These preparations usually contain mixtures of herbs such as: valerian, lemon balm and St. John's wort, intended to have a calming effect.

Another remedy is based medicine bovine casein, which reduces the effects of stressful situations (Zylkene). It costs around PLN 2 for a pill.

However, you must remember that these preparations should be given around a month before New Years Eve.

Sedative medications for the dog

Sedative medications for the dog

As a last resort, you can give it to your pet sedatives for the dog.

However, you must remember never to do it on your own, and only after consulting a veterinarian.

Sedation medications for your dog to treat sound phobia should be introduced earlier than December 31.

It is best to see a doctor around Christmas or in advance and choose the treatment method that is right for your pet.

Among the measures that exist on the market, I use them in my practice alprazolam and hydroxyzine.

In more severe cases, I recommend using it earlier Zylkene, 3 days before the gunshots, I introduce alprazolam.

There are also other forms of treatment.

Some do serotonin reuptake inhibitors (e.g. fluoxetine), if tricyclic antidepressants (clomipramine, amitriptyline).

However, the use of these drugs should be started earlier and it is best to combine them with behavioral therapy .

Other medications that have a calming effect on dogs are benzodiazepine derivatives, e.g. used by most doctors:

  • alprazolam,
  • oxazepam,
  • diazepam (Valium, Relanium),
  • clonazepam.

They are available in the form of tablets or in the form of injection.

However, you must know that their action is quite strong.

The owners often tell me that the dogs after them are a bit "muddy ".

There are also contraindications to their administration, therefore never give them on your own.

In order for them to fulfill their function, it is best to start feeding them around three days before a planned stressful situation.

There are also on the market pastes and gels - I am not their supporter.

First, some of them are in my opinion, too strong, like for example. gel with dexmedetomidine.

It is an agent used in medicine for the premedication of animals prior to surgery.

Has too a very long list of contraindications, and it is not difficult to overdose this remedy.

Added to this is the method of application - this substance is absorbed through the mucous membranes, so if the owner gives it to his pet and the gel accidentally gets on his mucous membranes, this agent may also affect his behavior.

Another such example is a gel containing in its composition acepromazine.

After its application, the animal remains conscious - he's afraid of the same, he can't just show it.

He cannot move his limbs, run away, so he will automatically be afraid again the next time, but this time it may come to pass worsening phobias.

What can you do when the dog is afraid of firecrackers?

What You Can Do When Your Dog Is Afraid Of Fireworks?

The responsible pet owner should think about the process of adapting a pet to New Year's fireworks much earlier than December 31.

It is worth remembering that drugs are in this case finality.

If, on the other hand, you are forced to use medication, see a doctor at at least one week before New Year's Eve.

Remember that in most cases, it is enough to approach the pet properly to make it feel completely safe in your home.

I hope that after reading this article you already know why New Year's Eve can be the worst day of the year for your dog and how you can help your pet.

You have questions about your dog's sedative medications and dosing? Or maybe you want to share your experiences with other Readers? Write boldly in the comment below the article ?

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