How to keep dogs calm during Fireworks Season 2022

How to keep dogs calm during Fireworks Season 2022

I know that fireworks season can be a difficult time of year for dogs and their owners, and I am here to offer up some tips on how to help you and your dogs to cope.

Preparations

I am posting this advice in advance of the 5th of November because displays will be doing on throughout the lead-up to the official bonfire night and there are plenty of preparations that can be done now to be ready.

Get dogs used to bangs: 

Find a soundtrack on YouTube of fireworks noises.

In the run-up to the first display, play the soundtrack very quietly & make it gradually louder daily. This allows your dog to get used to the sounds*

In the Cambridge area, displays are from 24th October Onwards.

Make a den: 

Create a safe hiding place that is low down, covered and comfortable and establish it as a positive place by putting toys and treats there for your dog to find in the den over the coming weeks.

Before

On the day of any displays, you want to get ready before the fireworks start.

Settle Before:

Walk your dog while it's daylight throughout the fireworks season and settle down with them before the displays start.

Let them out for any final toilet breaks before it gets dark and then stay inside.

For dogs who need extra support for stress and anxiety you can offer a few remedies to help them:

  • Give your dog a calming chew such as a yak or olivewood stick.
  • There are lots of calming teas that may help with fear, anxiety and restlessness such as camomile, valerian, lavender and hoy basil1. Brew, cool and add to your dogs’ food prior to serving
  • Consider canine aromatherapy. Essential oils need to be therapeutic grade to be safe for dogs. For example, Lavender, bergamot, sweet orange, and chamomile has been observed to be calming.2

During

Muffle the bangs: 

Stay indoors with closed curtains.

Use TV/radio to mask the sounds

Offer reassurance: 

Give your dog comfort or allow them to hide away as they please

 

Anglian Dog Works Advice for Fireworks

References:

  1. Rodney Habib & Dr Karen Shaw Becker with Khristin Loberg. (2021). The Forever Dog.Harper Collins Publishers.
  2. H. Koulivand, M. Khaleghi Ghadiri and A. Gorji, Lavender and the nervous system, Evidence-based Complement. Altern. Med., , DOI:10.1155/2013/681304.

 

About the author:

Hi 👋 I’m Emma, accredited as a professional dog trainer by the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT). I help owners of energetic dogs achieve the dog-owning life they envisioned by providing robust obedience & agility training for dogs in Balsham and Barton, near Cambridge.

Disclaimer: The content of this article does not include personalised advice and is for information purposes only. If you need individual advice or other enquiries please click here to get in contact or if you're not local to Anglian Dog Works, you can find a trainer in your area by going to the IMDT website: https://www.imdt.uk.com/find-a-qualified-imdt-trainer

*If your dog has shown a fear of fireworks, instead you will need to work with an experienced qualified trainer on noise aversion; They will be experienced at reading a dog's body language for any signs of worry and be able to adjust the distance from the sound and sound intensity as appropriate.