Whether it’s Bonfire Night, New Year or another celebration, people like to see these events go with a bang and firework displays are just the ticket. But what provides enjoyment and entertainment for us can put fear into some dogs.
Common signs of fear in dogs include any of the following, considerable panting, trembling, cowering, hiding, howling, growling or barking, destructiveness, salivation, attention seeking or urination and defecation.
If your dog reacts badly to the firery rockets, there are a few things you can do to try and reduce his fear. But whatever you do, do not cuddle and comfort him. It sounds mean, but it only reinforces the message that he has something to be frightened about.
Instead, assuming you’re prepared for the rocket extravaganza to take place, take your dog for a long walk beforehand. Also make sure he goes to the toilet before it starts.
Once back inside close all your doors and windows to keep the noise down. Close the curtains, turn on the lights and turn the TV or radio on for background noise.
Feed your dog before the fireworks start. If you add some cooked chicken and white rice to his dinner it’ll not only fill him up, but the extra carbohydrate should make him sleepier too.
Make sure your dog has a distraction for the main event, his favourite toy or even some treats. Also keep him in a safe and secure place, so he can’t make a run for it if he hears a sudden bang.
Whatever you do, stay calm and go about your normal routine, it’ll help to settle him.
If you’ve already tried all of the above and your dog is still terrified, you may want to try a dog appeasing pheromone (DAP). It’s a synthetic pheromone solution delivered through a spray or plug-in diffuser.
It mimics the natural soothing pheromones released by a lactating bitch. These pheromones help comfort dogs in stressful environments. They convey a message of well being and a feeling of security.
It’s a natural, safe solution, which can be used to help reduce your dog’s anxiety, but you still need to make a practical effort too!