Why is your Brittany afraid of Fireworks?
It has to do with the sharpness and the percussive sound of the fireworks and the random intervals. Your Brittany’s ears are much more sensitive and they can hear at far greater distances than humans do. What this means in terms of fireworks is this: even if a firework display sounds distant or muffled to you, it might sound far louder and more immediate to your dog. At the same time, certain fireworks make a screaming sound as they ascend into the air — these high-pitched whistles may sound all the more screechy to a dog than they do to a human. Also, fireworks are completely unpredictable phenomena from your Brittany’s perspective. So they are unable to anticipate when the next firework will explode. It is that uncertainty that may be so unnerving.
Because some dogs have such a visceral reaction to fireworks, it is reasonable to think that the loud bangs and pops might hurt dogs’ sensitive ears. But in truth, physical pain isn’t the biggest risk fireworks pose to dogs. Rather, the primary effect may be more psychological. Physical signs of fear include excessive panting, pacing back and forth, drooling, shallow breathing, and trembling.
The emotional trauma stemming from the moment may cause a more enduring panic response in a dog. In these cases, the dog becomes hyper-vigilant because it’s constantly anticipating another acute event. As a result, it exists in a heightened state of arousal. Sometimes, the panic can last weeks.
How to calm your Brittany
Training with treats: feed your Brittany a treat AFTER the sound has passed so they will associate loud sounds with treats. In time instead of cowering at a bang or rumble they will look to you for a reward for being such a good boy.
Distracting your Brittany: you might try running them through physical training exercises or playing a game with them.
Products to reduce anxiety
- Many Brittany owners have had good luck with calming CBD or Hemp Extract chew treats. (Talk to your vet first.)
- Premium antler chews for your Brittany to chew on can help them release pent-up energy and stress as well as giving them an alternative activity.
- The ThunderShirt is a calming wrap that you can put on your pet during a stressful situation to help them feel calmer, and less anxious. It is completely drug-free, and there is no training required.
The best way to help your Brittany make it through the fireworks every July is to make sure you and your Brittany are prepared at any point in the year for loud and unexpected noises.