Each year in the UK the skyline is set alight with rockets, Catherine wheels and Roman candles as celebrations take place to the accompanying sound of fireworks. Bangs, explosions and bright lights are partnered by screams, sirens and the occasional howling dog. Guy Fawkes may not have succeeded in blowing up the Houses of Parliament, but he’s certainly left a legacy that most dogs (and their owners) would NOT thank him for!
Most dogs do not like fireworks. Fact. Even dogs who are trained to endure loud noises (such as gun dogs) tend to get jumpy and anxious in and around the run up to bonfire night.
Every year dogs along with many other animals experience fear and confusion, sometimes alone when their owners are away enjoying an organised bonfire.
It is not unusual for dogs to run away or escape from the home when frightened by fireworks so one of the most important things a dog owner can do in preparation for the fireworks is to check, double check and treble check the security of the garden or yard. Don’t assess it on whether a person could possibly escape, think more about whether a very stressed, motivated, physically impressive canine could make a break. Dogs go missing around fireworks night, make sure yours isn’t one of them.
Our simple 6 point guide should help to ensure your pets can get through the firework season safe and sound.
* It is a good idea to bring any outdoor pets inside for the duration of firework period. If this is not possible, covering kennels up with a blanket at night will give a dog a little protection from the bright flashes and loud bangs. Outside dogs are often used to thunder but fireworks can cause a very different reaction. Always remember how acute a dog’s sense of hearing is. A loud bang to us can feel like volcano erupting to a dog.
* It may be hard, but try and stay with your dog during the majority of the firework season. A dog can often react very differently to a bang when you are not there. If it is possible, see if you can view your dog via a hidden vantage point just to gauge his or her reaction to the bangs. Even though you may elect to stay with the dog, try very hard not to react to the sounds of fireworks yourself. Do your best to ignore the bangs and crashes, showing your dog that there is no imminent danger despite the loud noises and bright flashes.
* Always make sure your dog has his or her own special area where they can go to feel safe. Be it an indoor kennel or a place under the stairs, dogs love to have a den at their disposal.
* It sounds obvious, but try to keep the windows and curtains closed as often as possible during firework season as this will lessen the effect of the noise and bright flashes.
* Normal household noises such as the TV, vacuuming or music can help to distract from the loud noises coming from outside. Aside from deciding to host a disco or having a few days of constant vacuuming around the home to distract your pet from the sound, investigate something such as a natural supplement like Forest Farmacy’s Soothing Animal Solution which could be the best way to combat any anxiety your pet has towards loud noises.
* Last but certainly not least, always ensure your pet has some sort of identification on him or her. It is a sad fact but many dogs do run away from home during firework season, even dogs that has previously shown no fear of fireworks can occasionally take flight at the loud noises and flashes in the sky. Be prepared, your dog has no comprehension why the sudden noises and bright lights and as an animal with ultra sensitive senses, it’s important to be prepared for any sudden displays of anxiety or fear.
You can download K9 Magazine’s TOTALLY FREE ‘Fireworks and Your Dog’ eBook (which also includes bonus sections on how to treat general anxiety and noise phobia) by visiting www.k9magazine.com/fireworks
Highly Recommended >> We are happy to recommend Forest Farmacy and Soothing Animal Solution, an organic instant calming solution for anxious pets to help with your dog’s firework noise phobia.