Calming tips for dogs during fireworks

Photo by Vets Now via

Bonfire night is almost upon us and fireworks are already going off most nights – here are some tips brought to you by our colleagues at Vets Now for helping to keep our dogs calm during this time!

1. Keep your dog indoors

There is a chance your dog could run off if they are spooked by loud bangs and sadly our vets regularly see pets who have been hit by cars as a result of this. During fireworks, make sure they are safely indoors with windows and doors securely closed. Be sure to walk them well in advance of fireworks starting and keep them on a lead.

2. Leave internal doors open

The inescapable booming sounds are distressing enough for your dog without them feeling trapped. Help them feel more in control by keeping internal doors open so they can settle themselves wherever they want.

3. Provide a safe space

Ensure your dog has access to a comforting place they can settle in if they’re distressed, (their usual bed or a quiet spot with some of your old clothes are usually good bets).

4. ‘Soundproof’ your house

Help block out the noise as much as possible, by drawing the curtains, for example.

5. Play background noise

Playing “white noise” such as the TV, radio or other music, in advance of the fireworks starting, can help drown out the noise.

6. Provide your dog with nutritious treats

Offering tasty, healthy treats while the fireworks are going off may distract and help calm your dog down.

7. Offer praise and comfort

If they are scared of the fireworks this can help calm and reassure your dog that there is nothing to worry about. Stroking and cuddling is fine if they need comforting, but if they choose to hide it’s best to let them.

8. Act natural

While it’s ok to praise and comfort your dog if they are scared of the fireworks, be sure to stay calm to avoid reinforcing their behaviour. In other words, if you act worried your dog will think there is a reason for them to be worried. Acting as normal as possible is key.

9. Try a thundershirt

Thundershirts, or pressure vests, provide consistent pressure on a dog’s core and are designed to have a calming effect. Studies suggest they may have a small but beneficial impact on anxiety. However, it’s unlikely your dog’s anxiety will be fully alleviated by wearing a thundershirt, and, in some cases, these products may have no beneficial effect at all.

The original article by Laura Playforth at Vets Now can found here.

There’s also some great tips for cats and rabbits during firework season which can be found by clicking here.

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