Yes, it’s almost that time of the year again … “Remember, Remember the 5th of November” – or FIREWORKS NIGHT. Great fun for kiddies (and quite a few grown-ups too) – but often terrifying for dogs. Indeed, statistics suggest that almost half of all dogs are scared of fireworks. So, here’s some tips we hope you’ll find helpful to make it as stress-free as possible for your four-legged best friend.
Have you ever thought of playing an online video of fireworks at relatively low volume while your dog is calm and quiet? This may help start to familiarise him with the noises in a safe environment.
Though, of course, things may be different this year, it’s probably still a good idea to check if/when there may be any local public fireworks displays in your area – and check with your neighbours too - as Fireworks Night seems to spread over several evenings and, as the 5th November falls on a Thursday this year, the noise may well be going on right through the weekend too.
On the day itself, it’s probably a good idea to ensure your dog gets plenty of “walkies” during the day so he might be more tired by the time it gets dark and the fireworks start to “whizz” and “bang”. If you know your dog will get anxious, try to feed him before it gets dark or he may not want to eat. Also, make sure your dog has his own “safe space” that he’s used to; if he’s used to a crate, you could cover it with a blanket for extra security.
It’s a good idea to make sure that all doors and windows are securely closed, partly to deaden the noise of course but also to make sure he can’t escape if frightened. Raising the volume of the TV or radio will also help disguise the noise of the fireworks and playing games with favourite toys to distract him may help too.
If you know you dog reacts badly to fireworks but you really can’t be at home with him, why not ask if somebody else can come and sit with him while you’re away and suggest what they should do to keep him calm. Lastly, if you do have to take your dog outside, please make sure he’s wearing a collar with his ID on it, just in case he makes a run for it!