how to keep your dog content during fireworks season
a great way to get your pup used to fireworks is to gently cuddle/hold/stroke them whilst popping popcorn nearby!
Fireworks season is an exciting time of year for many, bringing family, friends, and communities together for multiple celebrations. Whilst this can be a fun time of year, it’s not so enjoyable for a lot of our furry friends. Here’s some of our tips on how to make the fireworks season as pleasant for your dog as possible, especially if it’s their first one!
1. positive association.
With any experience your pup / dog will go through, it’s important to try and make it a good one! This is especially needed when first taking your pup home, as they will come across many new scents, sounds and sights. If there are some fireworks going off in your local area, you could take your pup for a short stroll and every time a firework goes off, give them a tasty treat. This will help your pup associate fireworks with something good happening. Give them lots of praise if they react calmly to the noise; if this is causing your pup too much stress, it’s best to take them indoors and try other techniques to desensitise them from fireworks.
2. safe space.
Creating a cosy safe space for your dog can work wonders during fireworks season. You could build a den out of plush blankets draped over a coffee table or their crate, so they have the option to hide in it if they wanted to. Never confine them to one room, as they may feel trapped whilst trying to find somewhere to hide, which can have an adverse effect on their anxiety.
Playing soothing music on the radio or watching TV as you normally would in the evening can help bring some familiarity to the atmosphere for your dog and will also minimise the sound caused by fireworks. Closing your curtains or drawing your blinds will help ease the sensory impact from fireworks, as the flashing lights as well as the sound can cause some dogs distress.
Giving your dog some fun toys, puzzles, and chews can occupy their mind and therefore reduce their fear and focus on what’s happening around them. Chewing can be therapeutic for a lot of dogs, as it’s a way for them to release tension whilst also keeping their gums healthy. This also enhances positive experiences whilst fireworks are present as they’re enjoying themselves. There are many natural chews that provide nutrition for your dog such as fish twists, yak chews and deer antlers. If you have a pup, make sure to check that they are old enough as some chews have minimum age requirements.
4. medicinal help.
In some cases, none of the above are enough to help your dog’s anxiety during fireworks season. If this applies to your dog or pup, it’s best to seek veterinary advice on any calming medication that can be used during this time of year. Additionally, you could speak to a professional dog trainer or animal behaviourist for further tips if you’d rather not give them medication at this point.
We hope we have provided you with some inspo on how to try and get your dogs through times like this. Each dog reacts differently to such scenarios, some may sail through it and others may need a little more help. Regardless, it’s imperative when leaving the house with your dog, they are always wearing an ID tag and have up to date microchip details in the event of unpredictable behaviour caused by fireworks.
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