It’s no secret that many dogs are absolutely petrified of fireworks but, unfortunately, there’s not much can do to stop the loud bangs. However, there are some things we can do to help keep our furry friends calm.
Pet owners and animal lovers have been calling for the ban of fireworks altogether and Sainsbury’s have stopped selling them.
Here are a few of the ways you can help your dog through Bonfire Night:
We recommend taking your dog for their last walk before it goes dark, this way there will be a reduced risk of fireworks being set off and scaring them. A big walk would also ensure they’re calmer during the evening.
It would be a good idea to feed them earlier in the evening perhaps when it’s starting to get dark because once the fireworks start then they may be too anxious to eat.
If you’re really concerned about your pup you can find out where your local firework displays will be held so you can gauge at what time would be the loudest. Also, ask your neighbours if they have anything planned.
If it’s your pups first time experiencing fireworks there is a playlist by The Kennel Club which includes sounds of fireworks to help them become accustomed to the noises. Playing this quietly to them for a few minutes a day may help them feel more relaxed when the real thing rolls around.
Ask your vet
If you know your dog is super sensitive to fireworks you can check with your vet about different ways to help. Some may recommend plug-in diffusers which release calming pheromones throughout the house. Behaviour therapy may also be recommended in extreme cases.
Keep them inside
This may seem like an obvious one but it’s one I want to drive home as pets are much more likely to run away when startled or scared. Keep everything shut and make sure they are microchipped and the details are up to date.
Pups can pick up on your emotions so if you start acting differently then they will think something is up which will escalate the situation.
Leaving your dogs alone can be traumatic enough for them but doing it during fireworks maybe even worse. Even though you won’t be fussing over them, you being there will help keep them calm.
Top up their water
Some dogs tend to drink a lot when they are feeling uneasy. Due to this, we’d recommend putting down some puppy pads or newspapers in case they are too nervous to go outside to do their business.
Ensure all windows are shut, curtains and blinds are drawn. This will stop your dog from being startled by and sudden bright flashes. Turn the TV up to help drown out any loud bangs that occur.
Try distracting them with regular activities like playing with their favourite toys and teaching them new tricks.
Not all dogs will want to play so providing a safe space where they can go and hide is a great idea. Set up a den with familiar things like bedding, with their favourite toy or blanket.