Tips to prepare your dog for fireworks
Just because you enjoy a firework display the odds are that your dog won’t!
The firework season gets longer and longer. Fireworks go on sale from 15th October to 10th November then again 26th – 31st Dec plus Diwali and Chinese New Year
In general, the firework season starts with Halloween and goes onto January with festivals such as Guy Fawkes night, Diwali. Chrismas and New Years eve
Whilst you and your family may enjoy the bangs pops and fizzes, it is important to remember that pets and wild animals have a different opinion and can even be left traumatised.
Remeber that dogs hearing is far more se sitive than ours so they sound far louder
Below are some of my top tips to help your pet deal with fireworks
Get a plug-in diffuser.
You can purchase diffusers such as Pet Remedy which emit a calming spray. Approximately 6 weeks before firework night try plugging these in around the house.
Get out during the day with the dog.
If like me you tend to go out later in the evening with your dogs then I would suggest slowly getting them used to going out earlier. Certainly, before it gets dark so you can avoid being outside when the pops and bangs start. Dogs can get easily spooked by sudden bangs if they are do not seem to be scared of fireworks.
It may even be worth getting some help to walk them during the day. This could be a friend, neighbour or a professional dog walker.
Provide your pet with a safe den
In order to help your dog cope during the firework season create a safe space. My dogs head for the bathroom when fireworks start purely because it is in the middle of the flat and has no windows. As a result, I moved their food and water bowls into the bathroom along an old jumper and some smelly socks of mine that had my scent on them. I also gave them their favourite toy. As a result, if they feel stressed, they head for their bathroom den in the firework season
In short, let your dog decide where they feel safest and then make it into a den for them. This may well be their crate. If it is then making sure it is not near a window or door will help
Draw the curtains
Just before it gets dark, go around the house and make sure all the windows and doors are closed, pull down/close the blinds and draw the curtains. This will help muffle the sound to some degree but more importantly will block out all the flashing lights etc.
Make some noise
To help drown the bangs and whistles try putting classical music on the radio. If you have Amazon Prime and Alexa, then you could consider playing “Through a dogs ear” or looking at the skill “calm my dog”
The last couple of years Classic FM has played dog calming music on 5th November
Have a night in front of the TV with your best friend
It is important you don’t leave your pet by themselves when fireworks are going off, especially on the actual firework night By staying at home with your dog and playing games etc. it will destract them from the fi6reworks
If your dog is left at home alone during this scary period, there is a high chance they ill become stressed and possibly even destructive
Please give them a treat
Like many humans, when they are feeling down or stressed a nice bar of chocolate or something can make a big difference. This is the same with pets. Please do not give them chocolate as it is dangerous but a stuffed kong or similar can make a big difference.
Like brain games, a puzzle ball may even distract them enough; they forget their fears.
Ensure they have up to date ID
If your dog or cat does get spooked and runs away it is important they have an up to date ID tag and microchip so they can be easily reunited
Do Not punish or scold him for his fear reaction.
Your dog may be acting strangely or try to access places he is not normally allowed. This is due to fear so it is important that you do not punish him for out of character behaviour
General firework safety
If you are purchasing fireworks then please follow the firework code and make sure they are stored in a strong secure box and well out of the reach of dogs.
During October and November, you must check your garden every morning before letting them out for a comfort break, Check for any fallen rockets as they mat still contain some of the chemicals which will be harmful. The sticks themselves from the fireworks can also be dangerous