Fireworks night can be one of the most stressful nights of the year for your canine friend. Some dogs can develop extreme phobias relating to fireworks and others aren’t bothered at all. It’s best to desensitise your dog from a young age to these loud strange noises by using positive association, however that is not always possible.
Here are a few tips to help keep your dog calm on fireworks night:
Create a safe place, this could be their normal sleeping area or a nice quiet area of the house as long as it is accessible to your dog when they’re feeling stressed. Put down plenty of blankets and bedding, add all their favourite toys and add some nice treats to keep them busy. Kong’s and other puzzle feeders are a good way to distract your dog while the fireworks displays are happening, introduce this safe place to your dogs ahead of fireworks night so they know where they can find it and relax
Shut all the windows and play some music, keeping the windows closed will reduce the level of noise your dog can hear outside and paired with some music or the TV playing it will muffle the loud bangs. Closing your curtains will also stop your dogs seeing the bright flashes of lights outside.
Giving your dog companionship, if your friend has a dog which isn’t reactive to fireworks ask them to come around, your dog can learn from a calmer dog that they don’t need to react to the noises. Ensure someone is at home with your dog as they will feel much more relaxed with someone giving them reassuring strokes.
Don’t react to the fireworks, if you don’t give your dog a reason to think there is something wrong then they’re less likely to react.
Keep your dog in a secure place and make sure they can be identified, if your dog gets out and is startled by the fireworks they will try to find somewhere safe to hide. If your dog does take off they can be returned to you much quicker if they’re wearing an ID tag or have up to date microchipped information.
Know when the displays are taking place, you may need to change the time of your evening walk to ensure your dogs has been toileted beforehand, the loud noises and bright flashes may deter them from wanting to go outside.
Use dog appeasing pheromones or lavender oil, these have calming effects on your dog.