Updated: Nov 6
See our tips to keep your Smart Dog safe from fireworks this party season.
Fireworks and other loud noises can be traumatising for animals. Keep them safe by not letting them outside after dark. Close doors and all windows and the curtains or blinds to black out any flashing lights from outside. Close cat flaps to stop pets from escaping when panicked. Muffle the noise of bangs with the sound of the tv or radio, but not too loud. Dogs generally drink more when they are worried, so keep and eye on their water bowl to make sure its full.
In case your dog does bolt off and gets lost, make sure they have an ID tag engraved thats easily readable with your mobile number/s and postcode, even indoors, just incase. This massively increases your chances of being reunited quickly. Ensure your dog’s microchip details are up to date, and in case you've moved recently update your dog's microchip details, pet ID tags can and do fall off.
Walk your dog early before any fireworks start, keep them on lead if they’re easily spooked. Look out for tell tell signs your dog is stressed, such as excessive yawning, pacing, panting, shaking or drooling. Don’t tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, such as outside a shop, in the garden or car.
Give your dog fuss if it helps them to relax, although be mindful not all dogs want to be stroked when anxious. Be calm, act normal and praise your dog for settling. Let your dog go where they want to feel safe, and don’t disturb them. Try making a cosy den for your dog to retreat and hide in, maybe under your bed with some of your clothes.
Don’t leave your frightened dog at home alone on firework nights. If you can't find anyone to be with them and you have no choice but to leave them, don’t get angry with your dog if you find they’ve been destructive or messed inside after panicking alone. Shouting at a frightened dog makes them more stressed and anxious.
Use the time you have now to desensitise your dog to the sound of fireworks. Play recordings of fireworks displays at the lowest volume on your best speakers, when feeding your dog during daylight hours. Gradually increase the volume daily. If your dog becomes stressed and stops eating, reduce the volume and try again another day. Contine training until your dog can eat with the volume loud.
Never take your dog to a fireworks display, even if they don’t react it doesn’t mean they‘re coping, they've most likely shut down.
If you think your dog struggles with loud noises, speak to your vet about pheromone products, calming supplements or meds that may help them cope.