Dogs during fireworks
If your dog is afraid of fireworks, you will be familiar with fearful behaviours such as trembling and panting. Some dogs like hiding in small spaces, others prefer to keep close to you, and some may even run around barking.
What can you do during the firework season?
Create a safe den – locate the den in a room where your dog likes to hide or spend time. Ideally, this should be away from external windows. Close the curtains and shut the windows to reduce the impact of the fireworks and cover the sides of the den with blankets to muffle sound.
Plug in a DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) diffuser or use a DAP collar at least two weeks before the firework season. These release calming pheromones that are imperceptible to humans
Keep your dog on a lead during walks and ensure that the collar is well fitted. Avoid late afternoon and evening walks.
What can you do while firework displays are occurring?
Follow your normal routine as closely as possible. Try to ignore the fireworks completely. Even over-acting being relaxed can make a dog more fearful!
Soothing your dog is not advisable as it can give the impression that there is something to be scared of and may even reward fearful behaviour. Your dog may also become dependent on you during stressful times, which will make him/her more scared when you are absent.
Do not punish fearful behaviour and try playing moderately loud music with a good beat to mask the firework sound.
Ensure that external doors and windows are securely closed to prevent escape.
What medications are available?
The following over-the-counter supplements such as zylkene or camex may help ease anxiety.
In some cases, this may not be enough, and it may be better for one your Vet to prescribe short-term anti-anxiety medication.
Desensitisation and long-term solutions
The simplest technique is to play a CD with firework sounds. Initially, the CD is played on low volume which does not cause any alarm to the dog. Week by week, the volume is gradually increased so that your dog becomes used to loud firework noises.
Dog Health Information
Find out more
To assist owners in understanding more about a health conditions that are specific to dogs we have put together a range of information sheets to talk you through some of the more common health concerns seen and treated by our General Practice Vets.