5 tips to help your dog cope with fireworks

Posted by

It’s that time of year again where for some reason, humans love to look at those sparkly things in the sky that make those awfully loud noises that dogs just don’t like. When it comes to loud noises, our dogs (and some of us too) just really don’t like it. Here are our top 5 tips to help you to help your dog through firework season.

So why do dogs get scared?

If they haven’t been exposed to them in their early life during their socialisation period, loud noises can be a really scary thing for dogs. It’s hard for them to understand what’s going on, and it can be unnerving and cause anxious behaviour.

Tip 1: Get your dog get used to loud bangs

In the weeks and days leading up to nights where you know there’ll be plenty of fireworks, play sounds (just these on YouTube) for your dog to hear. Gradually adjust the volume up and down to help them become desensitised to the noises, and reward with praise and attention (or treats!) when they react well. With some practice, they’ll become less scared and know that fireworks are nothing to be afraid of!

Tip 2: Take an earlier walk together

Head out with your dog earlier in the day at a time when it’s not dark, and unlikely for fireworks to be going off. When you get home, close the curtains to block out the flashing lights and turn the TV or radio on for some background noise to distract from the firework sounds.

Tip 3: Distract your dog from noises with playtime

Give your dog their favourite games and puzzle toys to help take their mind off what’s going on outside, so they’re not so frightened.

Tip 4: Try not to reward anxious behaviour

We know it’s hard, when our dogs are scared all we want to do is to tell them it’s going to be ok and give them all of the hugs in the world. By doing this, it can often make them more nervous as they think this behaviour is what’ll get your attention. Dogs are smart and very aware of our behaviour too, so if you’re appearing anxious or worried your dog can sometimes feed off it too.

Tip 5: Make them their own safe space

Sometimes, we all need a place that makes us feel like we’re totally protected from the world. Make your dog a little den on the sofa, behind the sofa or between two chairs so that if they do get overwhelmed, they have a little retreat to go to and feel enclosed and safe.

Vet advice for especially anxious dogs

If you’re dog’s particularly anxious, you can buy calming aids, calming collars and pheromone diffusers. For excessive anxiety, head to your vet for advice, where they can prescribe medications to help them through the night.

And don’t forget – if your dog’s done a stellar job of dealing with those nasty things that humans seem to love looking at, reward them with plenty of praise, affection and even a treat or two. And remind them, they’re the best dog ever.

 

4 comments

  1. Oddly, Poppy, my saluki x lurcher absolutely loves them. we get the full show here As we live near a fireworks supplier. Poppy runs to the corner of the garden that has the best view and sits watching the show in fascination.

    my previous two dogs, greyhounds, turned into quivering bowls of jelly and hid in the bedroom. yet the local airbase & their annual summer air show directly over our heads at minimum level didn’t phase them in the least.

  2. That’s a really good post- really helpful as my Jackrussell/Collie can get freaked out (by loud noises in general) and there’s some decent advice above, but I have to tell you I am puzzled by the heartwarming last line; how is possible for anyone to tell their dog that they are ‘..best dog ever.’ when I know, for certain, all day long that my dog is, no doubt, The Best Dog Ever 😋🐕

  3. Loved it….though his little dog made me chuckle when he kept getting down and as the next tip opened he’d be up there again 🙂
    The only thing that helped a little for a fearful Westie I had some years ago was one of the Bach liquid herb rememdies. It’s called Mimulus and you drip it in their water a couple of weeks leading up to Firework Week…doesn’t matter if another dog shares the water as it’s all natural stuff.
    After she died I passed it onto a pal with 2 scaredy cats and it helped them as well. Worth a look.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *