Emergency Firework Advise

Emergency firework advise:

– GIve your dog a slightly larger meal than normal (the pasta dinner effect). Caution with deep chested dogs or those who become nauseous when anxious.- If there’s a central room to your house (surrounded by walls), move there with your pets. Even if this is the bathroom!
– Move the TV so it is positioned infront of the window- turn it up loud- Hang Duvets or heavy blankets over your windows (this may muffle sound)- Consider making a den out of chairs and tables and hang duvets/heavy blankets over these
-If you have a fireplace/chimney, cover this with thick blankets- Get every device in your home playing brown noise, white noise or even the sound of a rippling brook or heavy rain. Place these in front of windows where you can or low down at the level your dog is resting.
– Consider putting some shoes in the spin dryer (ones you don’t mind potentially ruining!). Never tried this, but it makes sense with regards to the sounds it would make. Be sure to start this before fireworks so it doesn’t make them worse.
– I’m not sure classical music masks sound well enough, it may calm some dogs. But if it appears not to consider playing something with lots of beats! We are currently listening to 70s disco!
– Give your dog a chew, kong, snuffle box (treats in a box of paper)- Don’t take your dog outside for a wee- If your dog will take food give them a tasty treat after each bang or even do some fun training with them- Let your dog hide if they want to hide
– Reassure your dog if they ask for it, this wont reinforce their fear

** IF YOUR DOG IS OK – don’t take this for granted! It doesn’t matter if they’re a puppy or a senior dog. Pair up fireworks with good things (bang = treat). Sound sensitivity often develops after a particulary intense episode or is considered linked to pain (hence why many dogs 6 years plus appear to have a sudden onset of sound sensitivity). It can change very easily, keep responses on the positive side of neutral (not caring).

If your dog is really struggling, call your vet first thing tomorrow morning and discuss fast acting medication. Cast aside stigma attached with medicating dogs, they don’t become zombies and being a little whoozy is way better (and probably healthier) than being terrified.

Sadly it’s too late to de-sensitise your dogs during fireworks season, so just try sound block and distract them using food and chews.
Start de-sensitisation around March/April after a your dog has not encountered the stressor for a good while