You may think that you have already tried it all. You created a safe place for your dog by darkening the windows to shelter your dog from the firework flashes or attempted to mask the scary firework noises by playing other noises or music. You may even have talked to your dog's vet about what to do to avoid your dog getting too anxious during the fireworks noises. But have you tried rewarding your dog with her favorite treats each time a scary firework noise sounds?
Our dog Tobine is now nearly ten years old, and for the last four to five years, she has not shown anxiety or stress during fireworks; she now only gets a little uncomfortable. As it has taken us quite some time to reach this stage, it is worth sharing what turned out to help our dog Tobine to get through the fireworks.
It so happened one year that while we did the shopping for our festive meal, we ended up shopping for hers too, buying lots and lots of her favorite yet healthy treats. By coincidence, we started to give her these treats whenever a firework noise sounded. We soon realized this had a calming effect on her, so we decided only to pass out those treats when there were fireworks noises and not for excellent behavior. We did not ask for any particular behavior from Tobine during the fireworks noises; we just gave her a significant number of her favorite treats. And to this day, I believe this caused the turnaround for Tobine, where she no longer feared the fireworks noises.
Good luck to all dog parents out there, and Happy New Year.