If you have a dog who is afraid of loud noises, this time of year can be especially trying for both you and your pup, and we want to help!
We've put together a list of tips for keeping your dog calm when fireworks are going off, so you can enjoy the holiday without worrying about your furry friend.
Signs your dog is scared of fireworks
If your dog is scared of fireworks, you might notice some of these signs:
-Shaking or trembling
-Lying down and not moving
-Pacing the house or garden
-Urinating or defecating in the house
-Crying and yelping
If you've got a dog that you think might be scared of fireworks, it's important to plan ahead and put measures in place to help your dog's anxiety levels during this time of year.
Here are some things you can do:
Stay home with your dog (or get a sitter) after dark on big firework holidays.
Stay home with your dog after dark. If that's not an option, try getting a sitter who can stay with your pup while you're not there.
Don't take your dog out in the evening on big firework holidays like Fireworks Night and New Year's Eve
Give plenty of exercise earlier in the day, so relaxed as possible.
Dogs that are tired are more relaxed. If you have time, go for a long walk or play session on a night you know there will be fireworks.
Exercise also helps with anxiety, stress, depression, anger, or any other negative emotions that may arise during the firework season.
Get your dog to relieve themselves before the fireworks begin.
Before the fireworks begin, be sure your dog has gone to the bathroom. That way they won't have to go outside during the barrage of booms, which will help them stay in their happy place (inside).
Feed them earlier too. Lots of dogs aren’t interested in food when they’re scared.
Lots of dogs aren’t interested in food when they’re scared. You can try offering treats, but sometimes the best thing you can do is to make sure they’re not hungry when the fireworks start going off. Feeding your dog earlier in the day can help calm them down and make them less likely to be spooked by the noise.
Keep your dog indoors
This might seem an obvious one, but keep your pup inside during fireworks! The noise and lights can be very scary for dogs—especially if they've never experienced them before. If you have a dog that is new to the family or has never seen fireworks before, it's best to have them inside with you so you can comfort them in case they get scared.
Encourage your dog to settle where they feel safest – his crate, favorite bed, or on the sofa with you! You can also consider giving them something special that helps them feel secure (like their favourite toy) or snuggling with them for extra reassurance.
Close your curtains to muffle sound and block out firework flashes
To help your dog cope with the sounds and lights of fireworks, try closing your curtains or shades. Or put a blanket over the window so that when the lights flash outside, it's less likely to startle them.
Play calming music or white noise
Dogs can be calmed by music, just like humans, or they may prefer white noise like ocean waves or a fan to block out the sounds of fireworks, making them less stressful for your pup.
Try distracting your dog with games or treats
Distraction is key. If your dog is having trouble settling down during a fireworks show, try distracting them with a game or treat. This will help break up whatever negative thought processes they might be going through, and give them something positive to focus on instead of being scared.
Pet or snuggle with your dog to help them relax
Pet or snuggle with your dog to help them relax, and provide reassurance. For many dogs, just being close to their owners is enough to make them feel safe and keep them calm.
Use natural remedies for anxiety
To help your pup through the fireworks season, there are a few natural remedies that can lessen their fear, such as:
Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone and one of the best remedies you can give your dog for fireworks anxiety. It works by helping to regulate their circadian rhythm so they'll feel more relaxed and tired at bedtime. And since it's a natural remedy, it won't have any side effects like other medications might!
You could also try CBD oil (Cannabidiol). This substance is extracted from hemp and has been proven to help with anxiety in humans as well as dogs! It works by binding with cannabinoid receptors in the body, which gives an anti-anxiety effect over time through regular use.
Lavender Essential Oil
Another option is lavender essential oil! Put a few drops on their paws or ears before bedtime where it will absorb into their skin and provide calming relief all night long!
(Before you try any of these remedies, please consult with a veterinarian to make sure they're safe for your dog.)
So there you have it: a few simple tips on how to calm your dog during fireworks.
We hope we've given you some ideas for how to help your pup through this stressful time. Remember that dogs are individuals, and what works for one may not work for another. The most important thing to remember is to plan ahead.
And remember: dogs react to your energy as much as they do to the noise itself. So stay calm and give your pup lots of love!
Thanks for reading!