How is your dog and fireworks?
Dogs and fireworks are not always a good combination. Statistics show that over 40% of dogs are scared of fireworks.
At this time of year, with bonfire night coming up, and many cities also celebrating Diwali and other religious festivals with fireworks, it can be a difficult time for dogs who are scared of fireworks (or any loud bangs). In fact many of them are so terrified they have to be sedated just to get them through, leading to extreme stress for both them and yourself… especially as it’s not just one night any more – the bangs can go on for weeks!
So your dog and fireworks: top tips for a stress free bonfire night
- Create a calm atmosphere; draw the curtains, don’t treat the firework noises outside with any special interest
- Put your dog’s bed (or preferably crate) in a quiet room in the house if possible
- Put music, radio or TV on to mask the bangs a bit
- Don’t ‘baby’ a scared dog – he needs you to show confident pack leader behaviour and if he thinks you are scared too it will re-enforce his fears.
- Don’t tell him off for his fears either – it won’t help!
- Speak calmly and confidently. He will take his lead from you
- Get him a big bone, chew or interesting toy to keep him occupied and distracted
- Don’t let him into the garden on his own – go with him and keep him on a lead so he can’t bolt and hide away where you can’t find him.
- If walking (agility or some other form of exercise) tires him out, try and take him for a good like walk in the afternoon before it starts getting dark and hopefully he will sleep throuogh most of the bangs!
- Try a gentle massage or even just keep a hand on his head so he knows you are with him
Your dog and fireworks might never get on – but if you’re calm and confident, he is more likely to be too.
Pride Vetinary Centre in Derby are putting on a special Fireworks Advice evening on October 27th. If your dog and fireworks are really a stress factor, it might be worth going along to hear what they have to say.
Happy Bonfire night!