Firework season can be an extremely stressful time for our pets.
On average, 49% of dogs suffer from firework or noise phobias in the UK and once the phobia has developed it tends to get worse each year.
Common Signs of Noise Phobia
• Hiding or trying to find an area to hide
• Trying to escape – digging, running away
• Urinating or defecating
• Not eating
Ways In Which You Can Help
• Provide a den: create your pet a ‘safe haven’ where they can retreat to and hide. One way to create an area is by using a crate covered with a thick blanket. If your dog already has an area they use to hide, make that area extra comfortable with blankets and a comfy bed. Also cover the area with a blanket.
• Maintain your normal routine and act normal around the dog as much as possible. Stay calm. Try and be mindful of the response you give to your dog if they are scared - telling them off can make your dog worse. Comfort your dog if they want your reassurance, but do not force it on them.
• Feed a high carbohydrate meal early evening before the fireworks start; this could be sweet potato mash, brown pasta or rice.
• Walk only in the daytime; a well exercised dog will be less reactive. Try not to walk at dusk or after dark; no walk is better than a walk where there are fireworks going off.
• Close all curtains and consider using thick blackout curtains on main windows and doors.
• Turn up the tv or radio to muffle some of the firework sounds.
• Consider using interactive toys to mentally stimulate your dog during the day and while the fireworks are going off. These could include Kong toys or a snuffle mat.
• Give your dog the opportunity to chew. Chewing in dogs can be very stress relieving.
• Consider using an Adaptil plug-in.
• Ask your veterinary surgeon for medications that can help your dog cope better.