Remember, remember the 5th of November… For a dog owner, it can be difficult to forget!

I’m fortunate in this respect, Kimber may have a lot of issues, but fear of fireworks is, thankfully, not one of them. Or not yet at least.

Unfortunately, a fear or phobia can develop at any stage during a dog’s life, as with humans, although it is more likely to start when young, it only takes one event that the dog responds negatively to, to set it off. So, if you have an older dog, don’t be complacent; every year I watch Kimber as I hear the first lot start (usually mid-October), and so far so good. Although, we did have some particularly loud ones last year when Westfield shopping centre in White City was celebrating their 10th anniversary. They received a lot of complaints from local residents!

If you have a new pup

If this will be their first experience of fireworks, as soon as you hear them start up, turn it into a fun time for them and give them treats, praise, belly rubs – whatever they find enjoyable and rewarding. You want to build up a positive association with these loud noises. If you do this every time there are fireworks, and follow the rest of the advice here, you should be well on the way to avoiding a fear response. (NB Use the same method for dealing with thunder and lightning as well)

If you have a dog that has already developed a fear

The key here is managing the situation as positively as possible. You can use Pet Remedy tools such as their plug-in adaptor, or the bandana to help lower anxiety levels. Close the curtains, turn the lights on, so the flashes are less visible, and turn up the TV a bit to reduce the sound of the fireworks. If you know there’s a display near you at night, take your dog out for a long walk during the day, so they’re more tired in the evening. Set up brain games, or a Snuffle Rug to give them something on which to focus. If their brain is engaged, the emotions get switched off (and vice versa – so you need to get in with these games before they have an emotional response to the noise).

How to Keep Your Dog Calm During Fireworks, Dog with fireworks reflected in eyes, Fear, Scared Dog

Don’t expose your dog to fireworks unnecessarily

Avoid walks after dark when they’re more likely to be going on – even if they appear to be ok with the noise. It’s one thing to be ok with the noise outside when your safe in the warm, but another entirely when it’s directly overhead, with accompanying flashes.

Try to be at home

When you know there will be fireworks, try to be at home so that you can react accordingly to their needs. If you do have to go out, close the curtains and leave on DogTV or a classical station on the radio (one with as little talking or singing as possible) to help block out the lights and sound.

Comfort Them

Lastly, there’s some old advice out there that says giving comfort validates your dog’s fears. This advice is untrue; please feel free to comfort your dog if they’re scared or unsure.

We wish you luck over the fireworks season, stay safe and stay positive.

Related Articles

Halloween and Dogs Are Not a Good Mix, Halloween pumpkin with dog carving, fireworks, fear, scared dog

Halloween and Dogs Are Not a Good Mix

Fireworks, chocolate and costumes; these might be fun for you, but not for your dog. Let your pup sit this holiday out.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Stressed?, Dachshund with one paw raised, Unsure, Stressed, Dog Behaviour, Dog Body Language

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Stressed?

Dogs do a lot to try and tell us when they're unhappy with a situation, unfortunately we're not very good at listening... find out how to spot some of the signs

A Puppy for Christmas? Are You Sure?, Sad looking beagle dog in Reindeer Antlers at Christmas

A Puppy for Christmas? Are You Sure?

Find out the real reasons why getting a puppy at Christmas might be a bad idea - for you, and for the puppy...

When NOT to Walk Your Dog, French Bulldog who's had enough walking, Summer, too hot to walk, dog walking

When NOT to Walk Your Dog

While we're not advocating NOT walking your dog, there are times when skipping a walk is the right thing to do.

The Importance of Dog First Aid, Cuddly Toy Dog with Bandages on

The Importance of Dog First Aid

Would you know what to do if your dog got injured? We hear from Dog First Aid why it's so important for all dog owners to learn.

What is The Snuffle Rug?, Two beagles sniffing grass

What is The Snuffle Rug?

The Snuffle Rug, sometimes called a snuffle mat, is a handmade enrichment toy for dogs. Find out why you should have one for your own dog.

Will My Pup Enjoy the Local Dog Show?, Pug with Happy Owner having won at a Dog Show

Will My Pup Enjoy the Local Dog Show?

Not every dog will enjoy the heat, the crowds, or all the strange dogs. Make sure that you're taking your dog's needs into account when attending events like this.

Puppy Socialisation: What is it?

What is Puppy Socialisation, why is it so important to get it right, and how do we go about accomplishing that?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This