How to Settle a Dog from Fireworks

How to Settle a Dog from Fireworks
It’s that time of year again. From October onwards, more fireworks are being set off every night. Whether celebrating Bonfire Night in November, New Year in January, or just celebrating for the fun of it, fireworks can be none-stop in some areas.
 
It’s an excellent way for humans to celebrate. Still, for dogs, the loud unexpected noises with bright flashes of light can be stressful or even downright terrifying.

Ways to Calm a Dog During Fireworks

There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog stressed and panicking, and it can be challenging to know what you can do to help when fireworks are going off.
Here are some ways that we’ve found that can help.

Change your Schedule

Adjust the times of the day you take them for a walk and feed them before the main fireworks go off each night. This way, they will be more settled, and you won’t have to go outside when it is loudest and scariest for them.

Make sure they are microchipped

Not only is it a legal requirement, but it means you can get your dog back much easier should they get out at night or run away when they panic from the noise.

Create a safe area for them in the house

Give your dog a soft cuddly blanket and one of their favourite fluffy toys to help make them feel more secure. Depending on how nervous they are, you could even build a little fort for them to hide in. If they try to run and hide under the coffee table, don’t stop them; allow them to go wherever they feel safest.

Close all of the windows

Shut your windows and draw the curtains to minimise the noise and flashing lights as much as possible.

Turn up the volume

Turn up the volume on the TV or the radio to create white noise and drown the noise from outside. It will help distract them from the noisy firework explosions and mean that the sudden, loud bangs won’t seem as dramatic.

fireworks

Use Distractions

Try to distract your dog as much as possible with a long-lasting, large chew; use a snuffle toy, a licking mat, or another interactive and engaging game that will help to distract them from loud bangs.

Keeping them focused elsewhere will take their minds off what is happening outside.

Use an anxiety vest or wrap them inside a scarf.

Using these will give them a gentle hug and reduce the stress your dog may experience during the firework display. Remember not to wrap them too tightly, though.

Make sure you keep a healthy blood flow and don’t restrict your dog’s breathing in any way – this is especially true for breeds with shorter noses and restricted airways. If you are using a scarf, use one that is soft and stretchy, like a knitted scarf. Don’t keep it on too long; if they want to take it off, let them.

Stroke and comfort your dog if they will let you

We know that some dogs like to be left alone, but if your dog allows you, stroke their ears and head to help calm any anxieties.

Stroke their body to let them know you’re there and that they are safe. As difficult as it may be, try not to fuss them too much, as this can mean they act up more to get attention. Let your dog know you’re there if they need you, but carry on watching TV or doing whatever you usually would on an evening.

Try to act as if everything is normal and there are no loud noises to worry about.

I've Tried This, and My Dog Still Isn't Calm

If you’ve tried all of these methods and your dog is still scared, and nothing is making a difference and helping to calm them down, you may need to speak to a vet.

They will be able to assess your dog and will prescribe any necessary medication that could help with their stress and anxiety.

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