10 Tips to Help Your Dog Deal With Fireworks | DogLife360
10 TIPS TO HELP YOUR DOG DEAL WITH FIREWORKS WITH A PIC OF AN ANXIOUS DOG CURLED UP IN THE DARK
DogFest 2022
DogFest 2022

10 Tips to Help Your Dog Deal With Fireworks

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Fireworks light the sky over London

It used to be that bonfire night was the big fireworks event of the year, but these days, the 5th of November is just the start of fireworks displays that last all the way through till New Year's Eve. It's a very difficult time for our dogs with 85% of owners reporting that their dogs find fireworks really stressful. 

So how can we take the fear out of fireworks for our furry best friends? The trick, our friends at Adaptil tell us, is to be prepared,

How to help your dog deal with fireworks

Here are our top tips to help your dog to feel as safe, secure and as reassured as possible. Prepare them early for the fireworks so that they cope as well as they can.

1. Make A Safe Space

a scared dog peeps out from red bedding

Create a safe haven/den for your dog: somewhere they can retreat to and help them to feel safe and calm. You could cover a crate or build a hiding place with comfy blankets and bedding to help them feel safe, cosy and comfortable. Ideally, you want to build this in a place they usually like to go to rest. 

  • Dogs like to be covered so having a blanket or sheet over this area to make it den-like can help them

  • Include an old t-shirt of yours and their favourite toys.
  • Provide something yummy to associate that area with, like a filled Kong, their favourite bone or treats.

  • Make sure an Adaptil Calm Home Diffuser is plugged in near this area, ideally at least a week before the fireworks are expected.
  • Spray fleece throws, blankets, bedding and comfortable areas with Adaptil Transport Spray.


 

Leave this den built for as long as possible in advance of fireworks season and make it a positive, rewarding (treats/food/yummy and fun toys given there) in advance of fireworks season. Most dogs will use this as a safe place all year round. 


 

READ MORE: Why Your Dog Needs a Kong

2. ADAPTIL

Plug in an Adaptil Calm Home Diffuser in the room your dog spends the most time and Adaptil will diffuse comforting pheromone messages to promote a feeling of safety and calm. This scientifically proven pheromone is naturally comforting and can help relax dogs throughout new or scary situations. Adaptil is clinically proven to help reduce signs of fear such as trembling and hiding by 93% in dogs. It is also proven to reassure and help puppies learn.  80% of Adaptil users say they would recommend it, which is a comfortingly high recommendation rate.

 

As additional support, use Adaptil Express calm tablets alongside Adaptil Calm Home Diffuser. These tablets contain a combination of natural ingredients that help provide a fast and temporary calming effect. Administer two hours before the fireworks start to help your dog for up to four hours. 

3. Thundershirt

Consider using a Thundershirt, an ideal additional support tool to use alongside ADAPTIL which is easy and effective to use. Pop the vest on and it will sit snugly around your dog’s body to provide a relaxing and soothing effect on your pup's nervous system by applying gentle, steady pressure. Recommended by experts and backed up by studies and surveys, a thundershirt works differently and complements Adaptil. 

Buy a Thundershirt

4. Muffling the noise

a dog snoozing next to a radio

Turn up the volume on the tv and play a channel that doesn’t include any scary or loud sounds. Channels that involve a lot of people talking are often best. The same goes for the radio or music.

Play reggae or classical music. Early studies show classical music is great for calming dogs, but a most recent study shows that reggae is a really great music choice to block out the sounds of the scary unexpected firework bangs and help you dog remain calm.

Close all the windows, doors, curtains and blinds. Did you know dogs can hear sounds four times further away than humans? This means the fireworks you hear in the distance are much louder and scarier for dogs. Closing the windows, doors, curtains and blinds will reduce some of the noise and also hide the bright lights that can be just as scary for our dogs, especially when associated with loud sounds. 


5. Early Walkies

A boy walking a dog through the forest in autumn

Walk before it gets dark so that there is no chance of being fireworks going off, or being spooked. Also, to avoid any association with the dark and fireworks occurring don’t walk your dog after dark or allow them to go outside during the dark and fireworks. 


Take your dog regularly out to do their toilet duties before any fireworks could start. It should help them with needing the toilet and hopefully, they can hold their bladder until morning. 
If your dog is not used to holding it for that long, wake up slightly earlier the next morning to provide a toilet break, so that they are not holding it too long.


6. Microchip

A vet;s hands microchipping a grey dog

Check that your dog’s microchip is up to date with the correct details, dogs can run when they get spooked and get lost. Make sure there is no escape route and that your garden is secure with doors and windows closed.


7. Comfort and soothe

A scared dog gets a gentle touch to calm it

Give your dog gentle, soothing love. Use soft and calm movements, strokes and reassurance if your dog seeks that from you and use a soothing, calming tone of voice. 


8. Play and Distraction

A dog plays with his toy

If your dog wants to play, that's great.  You might try a food puzzle and activity feeder. If they are food motivated, this is a good distraction that will help them worry less about loud, scary sounds.  If you give them treats, be sure to only reward
 good, calm behaviour.

9. Calm Talk and Keep Close

A blonde woman cradles her scared dog

Use calm talk and be close by. Your presence can be very reassuring for some dogs but don't force them to stay with you and give them space if they need it. Always allow them to go to their safe hiding spot because they will be able to comfort themselves. 

10. Get Professional Advice

Df Paul Manktelow treats a dog

If you're worried about your dog during fireworks season it's always best to seek professional advice from a qualified rewards-based behaviourist or your vet.

 

 

 

Adaptil home diffuser
Adaptil home diffuser