Remember, remember the 5th of November. And remember that many dogs get stressed and anxious when the humans are enjoying watching the fireworks. Sadly we can’t make them understand why we love these things that are so loud and scary, nor that all the whizzes, pops and crackles aren’t going to hurt them. The only thing we can do is calm them down until the whole thing is over and done with.
Not all dogs are affected, but for those that are, here are our top tips on calming your nervous pooch when the bonfire parties are in full swing. But first of all, it’s useful to be able to spot the signs of stress in your dog. When they’re anxious, they’re more likely to pant excessively, yawn, shake, dribble, and put their tail between their legs.
How to calm your dog down
Always keep pets indoors when fireworks are going off. It’s a good idea to walk your dog earlier in the day before it all kicks off. However, if this isn’t possible and you have to take them out in the evening, make sure you keep them on the lead so if they’re spooked by anything, they can’t run away and get lost.
- Put the radio or television on to try and muffle some of the noise.
- Close the curtains so they can’t see the flashes of the fireworks.
- Keep their water bowl topped up – dogs are more likely to drink when they’re anxious.
- Let your dog find its own safe space – it’ll be somewhere dark such as behind the sofa or under the bed. It might also be a good idea to give them some clothes or something with your scent on it to help reassure them.
- Give your dog lots of praise and reassurance.
- Don’t get angry with them if they’re naughty as a result of being stressed.
It’s also a good idea to use smells and scents to help calm them down. We have products that use natural essential oils that work on their overstimulated neurotransmitters which help them calm down, such as a calming spray or a room diffuser. Buy both together and save money.
And if your dog is frightened, but just needs something to distract them for a while, try a dog toy or game to help keep their minds occupied on something more fun, or food-based instead.
Let’s hope humans and dogs alike have a good Fireworks Night.