CONSEQUENCES OF MIXING DOGS AND FIRECRACKERS
Anxiety, uncontrollable fear, shivers, tachycardia, heart attack and even death. Dogs and firecrackers have never been the best of friends and that’s why we in ADORA ask you that you think twice before using firecrackers, since not only do we harm our dogs, but also other people, autistic kids, older people…
The phobia most animals have towards firecrackers has been proven by many studies that confirm that almost half of all animals suffer heavily the effects of fireworks, sometimes being lethal or even causing PTSD.
The thing is that dogs don’t have the ability to rationalize their anxiety, and they probably suffer a more intense form of terror. Remember that phrase that Dani Rovira said with his dog Buyo, which became viral in social media? Well, that!!
WHY ARE SOME DOGS AFFECTED BY THIS, BUT NOT OTHERS?
Nowadays we don’t know the reasons why some dogs fear firecrackers but others don’t, but the most logical explanation is that they acquire certain patterns in their conduct: some hunting dogs get used to shotgun shots, which makes them immune to similar noises. This also happens with urban dogs, with other noises such as cars, traffic, ambulances and of course fireworks.
In general dogs have a very sensitive ear although they can also lose hearing and therefore, not listen to those loud noises at an intensity that can startle them.
FIRECRACKERS AND FIREWORKS ARE THE CULPRITS OF THE TERROR, ABOVE STORMS AND TRAFFIC NOISE.
The OMS assures that conventional fireworks are not appropriate for people since the detonation of the most powerful pyrotechnic rockets are above 150 or 170 decibels, which can heavily harm human hearing, which has a maximum threshold of around 120 decibels. This is higher than domestic animals like dogs, cats and wildlife can handle!
An innovative proposal that is already in place in Great Britain and Italy, specifically in the town of Collecchio are the “SILENT FIREWORKS”.
This proposal lets us know that it is possible to enjoy pyrotechnics without having to cause panic to pets and humans. What do you think of this proposal? We love it!
SO WHILE THIS ISN’T IMPLEMENTED IN MY CITY, WHAT CAN I DO SO THAT MY FURRY FRIEND DOESN’T SUFFER?
Under no circumstances should you take your pet for a walk without a leash during festival season!!! There’s always that one unexpected firework that scares us both and leaves us half deaf. Your dog could react by running away and escaping, looking for a place to hide far away from that noise!!
Make sure all of their walking gear, collar, leash, harness… is in good condition to be safe.
Don’t forget their identification plate where you can clearly read the name of the pat and your phone number in order to contact you, or at the very least write it in the collar.
You need to be aware of all events going on in your town, national holidays like Saint Juan, Christmas, sports or football events, etc, where it’s common for people to use fireworks. Avoid high risk hours! Go out with them before or after these events to be more relaxed.
DON’T LEAVE THEM ALONE AT HOME, AND MAKE SURE THEY’RE FAR AWAY FROM THE FIREWORKS.
I’m sure your pet has a resting place set up at home, a calm place where they can feel safe to relax and rest. Under a table, the bed, the bathroom… their “castle”, with their favorite blanket, their toys, that’s the perfect place to hide.
If your dog even runs away from their “comfort zone” looking for a safer place like a table to hide under, allow them to do it and help them feel safer by covering the table with a blanket or bed sheet.
IF YOU’RE CALM, YOU REINFORCE THEIR CONFIDENCE
Behave as you usually do, act naturally and be patient, you don’t need to ignore them completely, just try to let them know there’s nothing to worry about. If you pet or hug them, you’ll reinforce their negative reaction towards fireworks and they’ll believe they must always behave the same way, which will only worsen their situation.
PLAY MUSIC THAT MASKS THE NOISE OF FIREWORKS
Another good option that works for us, is turning on the radio, the TV, relaxing music a la Chill Out, sleeping music, or even special music for dogs, you can find all kinds of music on the internet. Here we’ll leave a couple links:
Another thing that can help them are NATURAL PHEROMONES with a calming effect, both for puppies and also adults, some people say they’re wonderful to avoid overexcitement in stressful situations or new experiences. For proper results they should start being used a week before the fireworks.
There are also spraying variants, which disperse the same pheromones the mothers use after birth to calm the puppies; they lower stress without sedating them. They’re called Adaptil. We recommend learning if they can be useful to your dog beforehand, ask a vet you trust!
CALMING SHIRT FOR DOGS
Another alternative for our dogs. The constant contact and pressure on your dog free calming hormones of the endorphin and oxytocin type. It’s based on the Tellington Touch technique, which we’ll talk about later on in our blog. Just like Adaptil, you should start using the Thundershirt a couple days before the fireworks.
EXTRA DURABLE TREATS
We’ve tried this technique but it hasn’t worked, but it’s still worth trying since every dog is different. A tip though, give them the treat before the fireworks so they have something to keep them busy.
In summary, not all dogs react the same way towards loud noises and for those who have a bad time, we’ve given you a couple options to ease the suffering of our friends where possible, when dogs plus fireworks are inevitable. We hope our advice has helped you, we give them to you with our best intentions.
See you soon, DOG LOVERS!