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Wellbeing: 10 Tips to Help Your Dog Cope with Fireworks

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Bonfire Night is about to go off with a bang, and while it’s a cause for celebration for humans, the loud and unexpected noise of fireworks can be a major source of stress for dogs.

This stress and anxiety could manifest itself in several ways ranging from trembling, destructiveness, hiding, loss of house training or excessive barking. We share 10 tips to help your dog cope with fireworks in the build up to and on the big night itself but if your dog is prone to anxiety, we recommend consulting your vet ...

  1. Get informed! Find out when your local display will take place and speak to your neighbours to find out if they’re hosting a firework party, then plan your dog’s routine and care around it.
  2. Deal with your dog’s business early. Walk and toilet them before the fireworks are likely to start. You might also want to consider upping your dog’s walk-time so that they’re just too zonked to care about the heightened noise.
  3. Use a dog appeasing pheromone product such as Adaptil, placed close to their ‘space’ in the days building up to the Bonfire Celebrations.
  4. Create a den or hiding place, away from windows, where your dog can feel safe. This could be their crate or their bed either tucked under a table or placed closer to where you sit.
  5. Close curtains, blinds, windows and doors to block out the flashing lights, to keep the noise down and to stop your dog making a run for it should they flip out with firework fear.
  6. Keep them in their collar and tag so that if they do manage to escape they can be easily identified and returned.
  7. Act normal. Ignore undesirable behaviour such as whining and praise them for being calm. Above all do not punish your dog for reacting badly to fireworks, as it’s really not their fault.
  8. Create distractions. This could be a new toy, a tasty chew or even a TV turned up louder than normal.
  9. Don’t leave your dog home alone. Our four-legged friends get their security and confidence from the presence of others so even if you can’t be there, make sure somewhere can and that they are properly briefed on how you want them to handle your dog if they become distressed.
  10. Do not take them to a firework display! This might be stating the obvious but this really isn’t a good way to help stamp out a fear of fireworks While we are all for being social with our dog, this is definitely one celebration they need to sit out.

Do you have any Bonfire night tips or advice to share that might help our readers’ dogs? If so we’d love to hear from you, simply add your comment below.

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