We’ve written this blog giving firework advice for dog owners from a veterinary perspective to help to reduce the stress for both you and your dog during the firework season.
Dogs are not used to loud noises such as fireworks and have acute hearing which makes fireworks a more intense experience for them. Along with the added odour produced by fireworks and a dog’s sensitive nose, this can be frightening. It is estimated that around 45% of dogs are scared of fireworks; this can be due to not being exposed to loud noises when they were a puppy or a noise related traumatic event meaning they can become stressed and anxious easily.
It is important to be able to recognise when your dog is showing signs of distress and when to intervene.
Signs your dog may be stressed:
Putting their tail between their legs
Excessive drooling, yawning or shaking
It is important to take steps to ensure your pet’s safety as it is their survival instinct to run away from fireworks.
Firework advice for dog owners to help reduce stress for your dog:
Walk your dog in daylight hours when fireworks aren’t being let off (getting plenty of exercise during the day)
Make sure curtains/ blinds are shut so they can’t see the fireworks
Switch on the TV or radio to help mask the firework sounds
Always make sure your dog’s microchip information is up to date so that they can be returned to you if they run off
Make a den for your dog where they will feel safe. This could be their crate with a blanket draped over it or a place they naturally like to escape to such as under sofas and beds
Try not to leave your pet on their own
Make sure your dog’s water bowl is full- as they get thirsty when anxious
Dogs look at their owners for reassurance so its crucial to stay calm and relaxed so they know that the fireworks aren’t a threat
Comfort your dog with soft petting and quiet words of reassurance – but don’t make too much of a fuss
Expose your puppy to loud noises such as thunder, car horns and traffic after the age of 3 months, while gradually increasing the volume when they get older. This can help a dog feel like firework sounds are normal and can make them less stressed.
We’ve produced a short video to demonstrate some of these points
Different dogs will respond to different solutions better than others so it is essential to find which ones work for your dog and implement them. Having trouble finding out what works best for your dog, contact your local vet