Fireworks……I hate them. They are unsafe and an unnecessary waste of money. I don’t believe that they are regulated enough in the UK and I think that they should only be allowed at big organised events. But the biggest reason why I hate them? They are awful for dogs and also for a lot of wildlife. Dogs and fireworks just don’t mix.
Why are Dogs so Scared of Fireworks?
The loud bangs caused by fireworks are unnatural and unfamiliar noises. They are very loud and often make high sounds within a digs pitch which can stress them out and even hurt their ears. If they are outside during fireworks the loud flashes of light will also be scary for dogs. Some dogs can get so worked up that it puts a strain on their heart or gives them a canine anxiety attack.
The problem is it’s not even just Guy Fawkes night anymore, it’s around 3 weeks surrounding 5th November.
Oh and it’s not just Bonfire night either. Any excuse for fireworks – Eid, Diwali, New Year, weddings. Hell – we even had fireworks going off on a weekly basis that coincided with clapping for the NHS!
Dogs and Fireworks – Tips to Help your Dog feel Calm and Safe
Avoid Leaving your Dog Alone
Make sure that you plan ahead for days and events that will be firework frenzies. Avoid leaving your dog alone at these times such as Bonfire night or New Year. Having you at home will be reassuring for your dog. He may need an extra cuddle and loving words of kindness.
Don’t go for Walkies on Bonfore Night
Avoid walkies on these firework prone dates too. No matter how much you think your dog needs a walk, it will be kinder to keep him inside without walkies than give him a walk but expose him to the stress of the fireworks. You may even need to avoid walkies for a day or two either side of bonfire night and new year, but he will survive without a proper walk for 3 days! You can still walk him in mornings, but in our experience, fireworks can start to go off in broad daylight too, so keep his walkies before noon during these times.
Fill his Kong or licky mat with his favourite wet dog food, or with extra special treats such as cottage cheese, yoghurt or doggy peanut butter.
Once Blake starts licking his mat or trying to get his tasty treats out of his Kong he is much less stressed about what’s going on outside. You can also provide natural chews such as pigs ears or hooves, although if your dog gets too stressed, these may not be enough to calm him or her. Wet dog food and unusual special high value treats are more enticing!
Consider Medication or Homeopathic Remedies if Necessary
If your dogs reaction to fireworks is so severe that it is causing mental or physical stress to your dog, definitely consult your vet. Your vet will advice if any remedies would be suitable and check that what you want to give the dog to calm his anxiety won’t interfere with any other medical conditions or medication.
You can buy natural calming remedies online such as My Peaceful Paws which is made up of calming essential oils that may benefit your dog.
There are also remedies that you can buy which mimic natural pheremones such as Adaptil. You plug it in and it releases pheromones which may calm your dog.