Nearly half of dog owners have reported that their dog experiences fear and anxiety from unpredictable, loud noises such as fireworks. Here's some ways to support your dog and keep them calm during firework season.
The most common ways to spot if your dog is anxious include:
- panting excessively
- putting their tail between their legs
Wagateur is here to support you and your dog! In the lead up to a firework season, our top tips are:
Create a Doggy Safe Den
Create a doggy safe den. This should be a quiet area, one where they feel in control. Don’t interfere with them when they are in their den.
Train your dog to recognise the den as a safe place by keeping their favourite toy there. Use a variety of chew toys but swap them regularly so they don’t become bored in their den.
When the fireworks start, your dog can then go there as they know it’s a safe place and somewhere they feel comfortable and calm. It's important that your dog has access to this doggy safe den at all times, even when you're not at home.
Change their walk schedule
Walk your dog before dark, ahead of any early fireworks which may go off in the early evening. Not only will this help them avoid experiencing loud bangs and noises fce-to-face but it also reduces the risk of them running away when scared.
Secure all routes
Make sure your house and garden is secure so they can’t get out and become even more spooked. Some dogs try to run away if they’re scared because it enacts their fight or flight response. Make sure your dog is microchipped and your information is up to date so your dog can be returned to you if they are spooked by fireworks and run off.
Let them decide what feels safe
Never force your dog to go outside if they don’t want to. Keep them calm by showing empathy and supporting them if they're scared.
Block out sound and light
Close your windows and curtains. Switch on the TV or play some music to disguise the noise. Classic FM has a dedicated pet show during firework season to support pets and their owners.
Change their feeding schedule
Feed your dog before any fireworks commence. Once they start, your pooch may become stressed and not want to eat.
Ignore the fireworks
Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don't force them to play. Dogs are very intuitive so if you stay calm they will be more likely to stay calm as well.
Support your dogs' feelings
Give your dog comfort if they seek it to help keep them calm.
Feed a Calming Supplement
Supplements can often help ease anxiety for your pooch. If you've noticed them exhibit signs of being scared, nervous or overreactive in the past (perhaps of thunder) then it's likely they'll also be scared of fireworks. Be aware that supplements often take some time to take effect, so ensure you purchase them and start to feed them to your pooch in advance.