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Fireworks

Many dogs will try to hide when they hear fireworks being set off. This helps them to cope with their fear. You can help your pet by making sure they have a hiding place where they feel safe.

Create a comforting den by padding it out with pillows and blankets which help to soundproof it. If your dog already has a "hiding" place where they are comfortable in, then leave them there, do not try to force them elsewhere.

In the weeks leading up to firework season, let your pet have access to this den at all times and, offer healthy treats and praise when your dog uses this den, this will build a positive association with this space.

Pheromone plug-ins can sometimes also help (available from pet shops etc). These pheromones are calming scents that dogs can smell but humans can't.

Firework Displays and Your Dog

Take your dog for a walk well before fireworks are likely to begin.
Keep doors and windows closed, and close the curtains.
Play music with a repetitive beat at a medium volume to help mask the sounds.
Although it is tempting, do not comfort or reassure your pets, they will feel that you are anxious too and their fear will be rewarded and encouraged.

Signs of a Scared/Stressed Dog

  • Trembling and shaking
  • Clinging to owners
  • Trying to run away
  • Excessive barking
  • Refusing to eat
  • Cowering and hiding behind furniture
  • Soiling the house
  • Pacing and panting
How to Prevent a Puppy from Becoming Scared
If you own a puppy there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of your pet growing up scared of fireworks.

If puppies are raised in an environment where they are not exposed to normal household sounds (e.g. in a quiet building outside), they are more likely to be scared of noises such as fireworks as adults.

During the first couple of months (the "socialisation period") puppies should be gradually introduced to a range of everyday sounds e.g. washing machine, vacuum cleaner, television and other unexpected noises. Start by letting them hear new noises at a distance (e.g. in a different room) or at a low volume, then gradually move closer (or louder) over a few days. Stop if they seem anxious or nervous and start again, further away, the following day.