Fireworks and Your Dog

Fireworks and Your Dog

Fireworks31Just because you enjoy a firework display the odds are that your dog won’t!
Sudden bangs and whizzes are frightening for a lot of dogs.  Sadly it is not just one night either – the firework season keeps getting longer and longer.

Take time to think about how you can make life easier for him.
You can try to prepare him in readiness –
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  • Try to walk him during daylight but do be aware that the odd “banger “can go off when you least expect it. Children get out of school around 3 00 pm so you need to be on guard.
  • Think about keeping him on lead to avoid him bolting and running off.
  • A good run around the park will tire him so that he will hopefully be too tired to worry about the noise!
  • Try to make sure he’s finished all his toileting so he doesn’t have to go in the garden while the fireworks are at their noisiest.
  • Once back home, feed him and allow him to go to his favourite place in the house. This should be a comfortable spot where he can hide, if necessary, and should be where he can play with his toys if he wants to or just sleep on his favourite comfy bedding. If you know he is contented and happy here you can leave him alone.  See our article on Building a Den
  • If your dog is frightened by firework noise then the first thing is to try and keep him calm by staying calm yourself and not reacting to the noise. If you have a friend whose dog is particularly bomb-proof, perhaps ask them to bring their dog to your house to provide a calming influence.
  • Make sure that doors and windows are closed and curtains are drawn. It is often the sight of fireworks as well as the noise which can cause fear. You could put on some music or the TV to mask the sound. Whatever you do, make sure he can’t escape from the house and run away in panic.
  • And remember to not punish or scold him for his fear reaction.
  • Try a firework pack from Dorwest Herbs
  • It may be useful to talk to your vet before the firework season starts, especially if your dog is prone to becoming aggressive or panicky due to noise phobia, which can be related to any noise and not just fireworks. The dog’s reaction may range from panting and whining through to chewing walls or emptying bowels. This kind of fear or phobia builds up over time and is rarely a sudden occurrence. Your vet can prescribe anything from pheromone diffusers such as Adaptil, which is designed to mimic the comforting hormone released by a mother dog, to sedative medication. In extreme cases he could refer you to an animal behaviourist for desensitisation therapy.

 

Whichever method you choose, your pet doesn’t have to suffer when fireworks night comes around.

If you’re struggling to get time to take your dog out in the daytime around this time, then Finchley Dog Walker may be able to help.  I offer a dog walking service that might suit you and your furry friend!

 

Useful Resources

RSPCA Firework Advice

Fireworks Advice for Pets