Fireworks are one of our most multicultural festivities, marking holidays and celebrations across the globe. People from Japan to Peru and India to the USA share in a canopy of explosions each New Year’s Eve. This celebration brings us together, as we look to the sky and enjoy the spectacular sight.
While we watch from our yards, windows, or even out at sea, our dogs typically share a collective experience too…a less delightful one. They are usually curled up under beds or hiding in small closets. A dog’s natural instinct is to find a safe, confined space when frightened.
Fortunately, you can provide your dog some comfort beyond the space under your bed. You can wrap your dog’s body, similar to how you would swaddle a baby. It’s basically a portable hug. If you have an ACE bandage on hand, you can try this technique right now!
Otherwise, there are some products on the market that accomplish the same goal. Thundershirt is a great brand that I recommend. Here is a shopping list of some products I trust:
Whether you choose to purchase a special wrap or DIY, your dog will most likely be comforted by the sensation of being wrapped. The gentle, reassuring squeeze of a body wrap reminds your dog of where she is in space. This awareness has a very grounding effect. It’s remarkable to see how much this technique can calm anxious pups.
If you wish to do your own wrap technique with an ACE bandage, here is how I recommend you do it:
Begin by positioning the bandage lengthwise across your dog’s chest (in front of the arms, but below the neck). It should be slightly off-centered, so one side will have more material as you begin to wrap your dog.
Cross the bandage over your dog’s back. At this point, it should be straight across the chest and form an “X” on the back.
Hold the shorter end of the “X’ behind your dog’s shoulder. The end with more material can be wrapped around the belly, just below the ribcage.
Secure the ends together with velcro or a safety pin.
The final result should show a horizontal line across the chest, an “x” on the back, and a straight line across the belly.
Click here for a helpful video, so you can watch this process live. Whether you purchase a Thundershirt or use a bandage wrap, you will aim for the same tightness. You want to give your dog a very gentle squeeze, so the body wrap is effective. But it can feel uncomfortable if you wrap your dog too tight. Be sure to buy the right size Thundershirt for your dog! You can buy with confidence if you measure and weigh your dog prior to purchasing.