Fireworks are a common cause of anxiety for dogs. Signs that your dog is stressed may include shaking, trying to hide, scratching at and even breaking doors to get inside to ‘safety’ or jumping fences to run away. They may become lost, damage their paws or sadly run into oncoming traffic risking injury and death.
How can I help my anxious dog?
• Safe space
Make sure your pet is safe, secure and unable to injure themselves before the fireworks have begun. They may need to be in the house with you. Have blinds down to reduce the flashes of light. Background noise is also helpful.
Products like a thunder shirt. They apply gentle, constant pressure that is shown to be calming similar to swaddling an infant.
• Positive association
Try to give them a treat or play a game to form a positive association with the sounds (this works especially well when they are younger)
There are CDs available that you can also use to slowly introduce the sounds to dogs when they are young, or gently desensitise dogs from their phobia at any age.
Every dog is different
It’s important to note that what works for one dog will not necessarily work for another. Many anxious dogs are likely to need prescription medication together with management of their anxiety, So use these tips as a handy guide, and if you’re still unsure or concerned, chat with a Vet.