Grooming & Wellbeing
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Calm on Fireworks Night
Posted on: November 05 2013
Bonfire Night is that time of year for us to celebrate and enjoy the company of our family and friends. However, as you've told us, many of our dogs have a natural fear of fireworks, so here are some helpful tips to make fireworks night less stressful for your dog.
- During firework season always try and walk your dogs during daylight hours. Never try and walk them when fireworks are likely to be going off.
- Close all windows and blinds to try and make sure as best you can that any flashes from the fireworks will not be affecting your dog.
- Some dogs will benefit from a bit of background noise to mask the bangs, this doesn’t have to be anything special, the radio or TV will do just fine or even some of your favourite music but ensure not to go over the top with the volume.
- If your dog likes to hide, let them! Make them a cosy place to go that to them is their “safe” place, never try and coax them out as this may worry them more.
- Leave your dog alone as best as you can, especially with dogs who do suffer from extreme anxiety. If they want to pace, hide or whimper, let them. Punishing them can only make the situation worse. Ignore the bad behaviour and praise them greatly when they are calm. Be calm yourself, act like there is nothing wrong and that everything is okay as we all know dogs can feed off of our emotions. If we are nervous, they will be too!
- Fear of loud bangs and flashes are natural to our dogs. We can try and condition them to be less scared of the fireworks. Before they begin, play with your dog, distract them with all their favourite things (but do not force them) that way they will slowly learn to ignore what’s going on outside as they know its “playtime” inside when these situations happen. However this is not a quick fix and takes time but is worth it.
- A favourite tip of mine, if you know your dog has a favourite doggie playmate who isn’t scared of fireworks, invite them round for the evening, not only will the other dog help show yours that there is nothing to be scared of but they’ll also enjoying having that extra time to play with their friends, helping to distract and calm them.
- Finally and most importantly! NEVER take your dogs with you to any firework displays, keep them inside as much as possible. Fireworks are unpredictable and dangerous and you do not want your dogs coming into close contact with them as this can cause serious injury. If you have a dog who is likely to escape during these times, double check all your identification is up to date and present on your dog at all times.
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