Firework Night - The Kennel Club Advice
Firework Night for dogs can be a huge ordeal, especially as their hearing is more sensitive to loud noises than ours. To help your dog get through Firework Night, the following suggestions are being made by the Kennel Club and other UK animal charities:
- Check where and when displays are being held in your local area. Also ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning anything.
- Consult your vet if your dog has any health problems or is taking any medications before giving remedies to help him cope with Firework Night, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Seek help from an experienced animal behaviour counsellor if your pet is severely phobic.
- Feed your dog a couple of hours before you expect any disturbances as once the fireworks start your dog maybe too anxious to eat. Giving a meal with plenty of carbohydrates, such as pasta or rice will encourage your dog to sleep.
- Walk your dog before dusk. It may be sometime before it’s safe to venture outside again for your dog to relieve himself.
- Make sure you shut all doors and windows in your home and don’t forget to draw the curtains. This will block out any scary flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks. Don’t forget to block off cat flaps to stop dogs escaping.
- Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to if they feel scared. Alternatively, let your dog take refuge under furniture and include an old, unwashed piece of clothing like a woolly jumper so that your dog can smell your scent and feel comfortable.
- Distract your dog from the noise by playing the TV, radio loudly.
- Try and act and behave as normal as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your dogs behaviour. Reward any calm behaviour with doggy treats or playing games with toys of interest.
- Shut your dog safely inside a room before opening the front door.
- Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog, just in case he does accidentally escape. Microchipping is also a good idea, as if your dog does escape this method will ensure you are reunited as quickly as possible, for further information please visit www.petlog.org.uk
- Never take your dog to a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don’t assume he isn’t happy. Excessive yawning and panting can sometimes indicate that your dog is stressed.
- Don’t tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off.
- Assume your garden is escape proof. If your dog needs to go out keep him on a lead, just in case.
- Leave your dog on his own or in a separate room from you.
- Try to force your dog to face his fears – he’ll just become more frightened.
- Forget to top us his water bowl. Anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.
- Change routines more than necessary, as this can be stressful for some dogs.
- If your dog does become distressed don’t try and comfort it as this may make the behaviour worse.
- Don’t shout or get angry at your dog for being scared as although it’s obvious to you Firework Night is taking place it’s not obvious to your dog.
- If your dog does retreat don’t try and tempt them out as this may cause more stress.