Home Blog Dog Bite Managing Fireworks Anxiety in Dogs: Tips for Summer Safety

Managing Fireworks Anxiety in Dogs: Tips for Summer Safety

By Eugene Bruno on June 28, 2024

Fireworks displays are fun for humans but can be highly stressful for dogs. Loud bangs can trigger fear-based aggression that could result in a bite or other injury, such as knocking someone to the ground. By properly managing your dog’s fireworks-related anxiety, you may avoid potential liability this Fourth of July.

Understanding California Law Regarding Fear-Based Dog Bites

California law is very clear about dog bites and other injuries: the dog’s owner is automatically responsible. This is called “strict liability.” Regarding no-fault responsibility, a dog owner is responsible for any injuries their dog causes. This includes in the following circumstances:

  • If the dog has never bitten or hurt anyone before
  • If the owner did nothing wrong
  • If the dog was only acting based on fear of fireworks noise

The person who was hurt does not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent or careless. And this rule applies equally in public places, such as parks and beaches, and private places such as the dog owner’s property.

In some states, however, a dog owner won’t be held responsible unless they knew or should have known that the dog was likely to hurt someone. But that is not the case in San Diego and throughout California.

This means that if your dog is normally friendly and only became aggressive because of fireworks noise, you can still be held liable for any injury they cause. For these reasons, it is important to take steps to ensure your dog is properly supervised and contained during fireworks displays to mitigate risks of injury that might be caused by fireworks-related anxiety.

Tips to Prepare Your Dog for Fireworks

Fireworks anxiety in dogs is a common issue that can manifest behavioral and physical signs such as pacing, panting, trembling, hiding, excessive drooling, escaping, and, in some cases, aggression. Even a normally friendly dog can become fearfully aggressive if stressed.

Some tips to help prepare your dog for fireworks include the following:

  • Create a safe space by avoiding bringing your dog to fireworks events. Instead, secure them indoors in a quiet area that’s away from loud noises. If your dog is crate-trained, consider covering the crate with a blanket to further dampen fireworks noise. Music or white noise machines may also help to distract your dog from loud noises.
  • Consult your veterinarian since your vet can provide advice on anxiety management techniques, including the use of medications or supplements if needed. Always follow your vet’s recommendations.

When it comes to prevent dog escapes, consider the following best practices:

  • Secure Containment: Ensure your dog is safely contained indoors or in a securely fenced yard during fireworks displays. Use a leash or harness for walks earlier in the day when fireworks are expected.
  • Supervision: If attending events or hosting guests, designate a responsible person to supervise your dog. This helps prevent accidental escapes or interactions that may become problematic.

There are some guidelines that can help with handling fear-based behaviors during the Fourth of July. For example, it’s best to avoid confrontation, never approaching a frightened dog during fireworks displays. Respect their need for space and avoid actions that may startle or provoke them. Another best practice is positive reinforcement/techniques to reward your dog’s calm behavior. Offer treats, toys, or praise when your dog remains relaxed in the presence of fireworks sounds.

By taking proactive steps to manage fireworks anxiety in dogs, you can help ensure a safe and stress-free summer for both your canine companion and your community. Remember, each dog is unique, so tailor your approach based on their needs and behaviors.

Contact Our San Diego Dog Bite Attorneys for Legal Guidance

If you have concerns about your dog’s anxiety or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for personalized guidance. And if you’ve been injured in a dog bite accident, it’s important to seek legal guidance.

At Eugene Bruno & Associates, we believe in being hands-on with clients by taking the time to thoroughly discuss their concerns. With over 40 years of combined experience and a 99.7 percent success rate, we can make summer celebrations enjoyable for everyone, including our beloved pets.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our San Diego dog bite lawyers at 1-888-BRUNO-88 (1-888-278-6688) for a FREE consultation today. Stay informed, stay safe, and enjoy the summer responsibly!

Posted in: Dog Bite