Preparing your dog for fireworks
Bonfire night and fireworks in general can be very traumatic for many dogs. The unexpected loud bangs and crashes of fireworks can be very frightening to a dog who doesn’t understand what is going on.
Many dogs are frightened by fireworks, so dog owners must plan ahead for firework season to ensure dogs remain safe and happy.
Prepare your dog for fireworks
- Feed your dog before you expect the fireworks to begin. The sound of the fireworks may make your dog too anxious to eat.
- Dogs are likely to drink more when they are feeling anxious, so keep their water bowl topped up.
- Keep your dog inside during fireworks. Create a safe place for your dog to retreat to, perhaps in front of the fire or a place they feel safe and comfortable.
- Ensure all windows and doors are shut with the curtains closed. This will block out any bright flashes and sound from the fireworks.
- Make sure your dog has had plenty of exercise during the day, avoid walks in the dark.
- Double-check your dog’s microchip data is all up to date and they have an ID collar on, just in case your dog becomes very frightened and attempts to flee the house. If you have cats too, remember to lock the cat flap.
- Research firework displays in your local area so you can plan ahead on those days. Speak to your neighbours and ask them to let you know if they are having fireworks.
Care for your dog during the fireworks
- Distract your dog from the fireworks by leaving the TV or radio on if you are going out. You could also treat your dog to a new toy or frozen treat to keep them entertained for longer.
- Although it is difficult to see your dog in distress, it’s important to act normal. Dogs are extremely clever and sensitive animals who will sense if you are acting differently, so remain calm and happy when you hear or see fireworks.
- Don’t discipline your dog if they are scared. It is only natural for dogs to become stressed when they hear loud bangs and this may lead to an accidental wee or loud barking.
- Reward your dog’s calm behaviour during this time with treats, playing and cuddles.
Things to avoid
- Don’t force your dog to go outside if fireworks are going off.
- Never tie your dog up outside or leave them in the car when fireworks are going off, this will cause extreme anxiety and stress.
- Finally, never take your dog to a firework display, its best to leave them at home in the warm with the curtains drawn and the tv or radio on for comfort.
After the fireworks
- If your dog becomes extremely stressed by fireworks, seek advice from your vet regarding desensitisation programmes.
- You could also ask about Adaptil collars which contain a Dog Appeasing Pheromone -a scent that can comfort your dog and help them cope with their fears.
- It is also important that in the long term your dog becomes less scared of loud noises. It is most effective to prevent noise phobia developing by ensuring that puppies are desensitised to loud noises.
We hope you all have a safe, happy and peaceful Bonfire Night.Back To Main