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Dogs and Fireworks

Fireworks can be a difficult time for pets, and dogs can find the unusual noises alarming and scary. We have some top tips to help your pet throughout the season.

Play a firework CD

You can help your pooch become acclimatised to the noise of fireworks ahead of any planned displays by playing a CD of firework noises well ahead of firework season. There are also plenty of YouTube videos of large firework displays for New Years. Playing these on the TV can help your pet get used to the noise and flashes that fireworks bring. Start by playing the firework noises quietly, steadily increasing volume over time, and reward calm behaviour.

Take a walk before dark

Give your dog plenty of exercise earlier in the day so he is relaxed and tired by dusk. Ensure you are home before it’s dark, so you are not out on a walk as a display starts in a nearby garden, and never take your pet to a firework display.

Dog - Bailey

Keep your pet in

Try to avoid letting your dog out into the garden when a display is planned. If you find you need to, keep your dog on a lead, and don’t go too far from the house.

Ensure your microchip details are up to date

Ensuring your pet’s microchip is up to date will help increase the chances of you and your pet being reunited if they do startle and escape from home during firework season. Next time you’re walking past your vets, pop in and ask them to scan to make sure it’s up to date.

Ensure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag all evening, just in case they do escape.

Dog - Ollie

Calming Sprays and Diffusers

You can get a calming spray, or a room diffuser, to help your pet relax with stressful situations. Some pets react differently to others, so it’s hard to say which product is best for your pet.

If you have rehomed your pet, speak to the previous owners or the rescue centre, as they may have tried a product successfully before.

Enrichment

You could try to occupy your dog with toys, games and food-filled toys, such as Kongs. Take a look at our Amazon Wish Lists for inspiration.

Check local event pages

Keep an eye on Facebook Events and your town council website, so you know when planned displays are going to take place. Ask neighbours if they are planning displays in their gardens.

Draw the curtains and turn on the television or radio

This will help muffle the sound of fireworks on the night and help with the unsettling flashes of light. Ensure all windows and doors are closed.

Create a safe place

Does your dog like to hide when they’re scared? Create a safe space or den in your home, where you can keep an eye on them, but give them the space they need when feeling worried.

By giving them this space, they hopefully won’t associate you with the noise of fireworks.

Ensure young members of your family leave your pet alone during fireworks. Let your pet pace around, whine or hide away if they want to. Don’t coax them out or disturb them – they will come out when they are ready. Try your best to not let it show that you’re worried about your dog, they can pick up on this and it can make them more anxious. Just act normally, stay calm and give your dog praise for calm behaviour.

Dog - Shitzu

Avoid leaving your pet alone

If possible, avoid leaving your pet alone if you know there will be fireworks nearby. If you cannot be home, do not get angry with your pet if you find they have been destructive while you were out.

Check your garden

If your neighbours are hosting a firework evening, check your garden the following morning for any debris following their display. If anyone in your family uses sparklers in the garden, ensure they are put out and disposed of safely.

When to visit your vet

If your dog starts showing continued signs of stress, such as diarrhoea, urination in the house and reduced appetite, sometime after fireworks have finished, speak to your vet. There could be another underlying cause for your dog’s anxiety and stress.

If you would like any further advice about pets and fireworks, please get in touch. If you would like to provide calming supplies to help the homeless dogs at NAWT through the noisy firework season, please donate here.

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