CHITTENANGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s not just the people that are startled by the loud pops and bangs from the recent uptick in fireworks, but animals are also impacted by the noise.
Pets aren’t naturally desensitized to the loud bangs associated with fireworks, according to Ryan Woodruff, Clear Path for Veterans’ Canine Program Director.
“The important thing when thinking about desensitizing your dog to different sounds, which is the underlying issue that we’re discussing, is to not wait for a potential instance to occur, such as July 4th and Independence Day when the fireworks are already happening,” Woodruff explained.
In a video posted by Clear Path for Veterans, there are ways to introduce your pet to the loud noises at a low-level intensity prior to the event where your pet might be exposed to the loud sounds.
However, if you haven’t had the time beforehand to desensitize your dog to the loud noises, the best thing to do at the moment is to occupy them with something that’s stimulating and something they enjoy such as:
- Playing with their favorite toy
- Playing ball/fetch
- Going on a walk
There are things you should not do if your pet is fearful too, such as putting them in a crate or leaving them by themselves.
At the same time, there’s a balance of not providing too much attention because then you’re giving the dog a reason to be upset about something so it’s a difficult balance to find, but one thing to keep in mind is you want to work the dog through it, within their threshold of learning.
Every dog is different so again, if you can reach out to a trainer or somebody that might be a little bit more experienced in this, I definitely encourage that.Ryan Woodruff, Clear Path for Veterans’ Canine Program Director
Clear Path for Veterans encourages those who are adopting new pets to do their best to shape confidence in them early on.
Woodruff said the things you do during the early weeks of their training can affect habits and what they do for the rest of their lives.