According to the PDSA, 40% of dog owners say their pet is afraid of fireworks, which means the big events of the year often leave your dog cowering under the sofa, in the bathtub, or beneath the bed covers. Signs of anxiety include wide eyes, flattened ears and excessive panting – all of which can be upsetting for humans to see. While there’s no simple cure for firework fear, there are a few steps you can take to help reassure your pooch.
PLAN YOUR WALK
Check for any nearby firework displays, and make sure your dog has had their walk before they get started – especially as the loud bangs can scare pets into bolting if they’re outside. The Blue
It might sound obvious but anxious dogs are best kept inside with the doors firmly
CREATE A DEN
Having a safe spot to hide in can help relax your pooch. This might mean making a favourite spot (like under the sofa) even more comfortable with blankets and some of your clothes – the smell can help calm your dog. Draw your curtains so pets won’t be startled by the bright light and flashes of fireworks, and give them a long-lasting chew to help distract.
Ford (yes, the car company) just created a prototype for a noise-cancelling kennel that gives scared pups a safe place to hide. Mics inside the kennel detect the sound of fireworks and counteract it with opposing frequencies, thereby cancelling the sound out. It’s still in its early stages, but this kennel suggests that more high tech solutions are on the way to help anxious dogs.
Try not to alarm your dog further by using baby talk or making a fuss. It’s best to speak in a low calm
LISTEN TO MUSIC
There’s divided opinion over whether it works, but Spotify has several playlists of dog-calming music. This can disguise the noise outside a little, and help soothe your pup. Having the TV on can also help, as it’s a familiar background sound for your pet.
Vets can prescribe calming medication if your dog is extra anxious, but
DO SOUND THERAPY
If you already know that fireworks make your dog anxious, you can gradually get them used to the sounds beforehand by playing firework noises. This can take weeks, or even months, and involves gradually increasing the sound until your dog’s familiar with it. Be careful not to go too quickly, and always reduce the noise if your pet starts showing signs of anxiety.
Does your dog struggle with fireworks? Do you have some useful tips? Share them with us in the comments below.