One of the traditions in Costa Rica for December is the display of fireworks. Besides the big displays put on by municipalities, like Saturday’s start of the Festival de Luz (Light Festival), many in Costa Rica seek out every opportunity to light up fireworks.

In many areas, from the barrios to the upper scale neighbourhoods, fireworks display are common right up to New Year’s day.

Without question they are spectacular, particularly the display Saturday night where a series of fireworks will be set off in unison from the La Sabana park, Paseo Colón, the Banco Nacional and the INS building and others.

vuurwerkHowever, pet owners have to keep in mind that dogs and fireworks just don’t mix.

A dog’s hearing is 10 times more sensitive than a human’s; therefore the loud, unpredictable bangs are cause for a very fearful, stressful reaction. Unfortunately, you cannot reason with them that the event will be over in a short while.

The array of pops, crackles and booms could create a major panic attack in some pets. Although sound sensitivity is a common phobia, watching your dog go through the anxiety is no fun.

There are a few things you can do to help with safety and provide as much comfort as possible to your best friend:

  • Do not take your dog to a fireworks display
  • Keep your dog inside. In a high panic situation, your dog could have the potential to bolt anywhere for safety and it may result in running into the road or somewhere where they may never be found again. Dogs will even dig under fences or jump through closed screens and windows to try to get away from the terrifying noise
  • Under the bed can provide a safe haven for your dog
  • Some dogs are sensitive to the flashing light, so be aware of your dog’s light sensitivities and keep it to a minimum
  • Crating can create a safe environment for those accustomed to being crated
  •  When the dog shows signs of fear, we cannot help but want to shower with more cuddling, petting and soothing. Believe it or not this actually reinforces the dog’s fear. They’re thinking, “There must be a reason to be afraid…..”

Please have a safe, enjoyable holiday!