No dog owner wants to see their dog anxious and stressed, especially over fireworks. It’s so sad to watch, and you feel entirely helpless. I know you feel the same, hence why you are here and trying to find a solution. Family dog Penny, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, dribbles, shake, and paces. If your dog shows these signs, It’s classed as severe anxiety, which can worsen over time if not appropriately treated. The emotional strain on your dog is too much! Extreme stress in dogs can take 4-8 weeks to resolve after trauma.
If I had my way, all fireworks would be banned. Many petitions year after year have gathered thousands and thousands of signatures, but they still are allowed to go ahead in the UK. Plus, we all know they don’t just go off on the 5th of November. It can be throughout the whole month of November. So at least New Year’s Eve fireworks usually are just one night, usually at full blast.
So let’s jump right in, and hopefully, you can try the techniques and products to calm your dog’s anxiety.
7 Calming Techniques
Let’s have the mindset to complete these easy-to-do free tasks over the whole month of November. Please don’t get caught by the neighbour, setting them off on a random day.
- Keep all windows and doors closed from when it starts to get dark. If your dog hears even the slightest sound of a firework, it could start them off and prolong the time that they are anxious.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Do not walk your dog. If you have been outside with an anxious dog when fireworks have been set, you would know it doesn’t end well. If they are not on the lead, they could easily dart off, and on the dog lead, they can become uncontrollable. So it’s much safer to walk your dog before dark in November. Fireworks tend to be much more common from 6 pm onwards, depending on your village, town or city. So please adjust the times if needed and be vigilant.
- Make sure before dark they have been fed and watered, if possible and let out to the toilet several times. An anxious dog doesn’t generally eat, so providing them food before will help comfort them.
- Turning the TV or music on can drown out some of the bangs.
- Try to comfort your dog within reason but don’t overdo it, or they notice that something isn’t right, and it can have the reverse effect and make them more anxious. On the other hand, don’t tell your dog off; they haven’t done anything wrong. It’s an uncontrollable emotion.
- Create a safe place for your dog. For example, leave the door open in a dog crate and cover it with a blanket. Perhaps behind the sofa or a blanket over a table, adding toys and treats in the den can help.
- A lasting dog chew would be the right choice, or a dog puzzle toy to keep them happy and entertained for longer periods. Allow your dog to hide, and don’t make them move from their hiding place unless necessary.
Your Not Alone
According to the RSPCA, up to 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks. So, you are not alone.
From the age of 3 years onwards, dogs generally peak their anxiety levels, so always be prepared and plan.
It’s against the law to set fireworks off after 11 pm in the UK, but this curfew is extended to midnight on bonfire night and new years eve.
After following our advice, you may want to consult your vet if your dog is still overly stressed by fireworks.
Firework Help – Infographic
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I hope that this can help your dog be less scared of fireworks. It’s such a traumatic time for you and your dog. Good luck! Any success stories would be lovely to hear.