Fireworks are fun, and great for parties, but for dog owners this is the one time of year that you might completely dread. Looking after your dog and making sure it doesn’t get overly stressed is important and even the happiest of dogs can become shivering wrecks at the sound of a firework. If your dog suffers from the following, then they are usually signs of nerves.
Signs of anxiety
- Cowering and hiding.
- Decreased activity.
- Urination and soiling.
- Destructive behaviour.
- Refusing to eat.
If even a sparkler sends your dog into traumatization, then here are some tips on making sure your dog feels at ease this Saturday:
1. Act natural
If your dog sees you acting like nothing is wrong, then he or she will feel a bit more at ease. Just your standard puppy-cuddle while you continue to watch Saturday’s X-Factor should do the trick. If you act natural, then your dog will mirror your mood.
2. Firework music
Playing firework clips, originally at a low volume while doing something he enjoys and then increasing the volume over a few days will help your dog get used to loud bangs. Eventually your dog will be able to tolerate the noise.
3. Wrap it up
Have a blanket at the ready to hold your dog in, much like a new born baby. Dogs feel at comfort when they are wrapped in an anti-anxiety wrap such as a t-shirt with their owners natural scent, or their blanket that they’ve had since they were a puppy. You can buy Thundershirts which have proven to help dogs stop shaking and are available online and from numerous pet shops.
4. James Bond
Watch some action films the same night that the firework explosions are all happening so that your dog will get confused as to where the sound is coming from. If your dog is used to you watching the television in the living room with you, then it will show less of a reaction to the event outdoors. Remember to close the curtain so that your dog can’t question the bright lights in the sky.
5. Play date
Have a bonding night with your dog to make him ignore the loud bangs from outside. Feed him treats when he’s done something good and play with his toys throughout the night. The more focussed he is on his treats and his toys, the less focused he will be on the fireworks.