The holiday season is fast approaching, bringing with it a whirlwind of festivities, celebrations, and, of course, spectacular fireworks displays. While we humans eagerly anticipate the dazzling fireworks, it’s crucial to remember that the loud bangs and bright lights can be an unsettling experience for our furry family members, our dogs.
As Guy Fawkes Night, Diwali and New Years draw near, ensuring our canine companions’ safety and comfort during the fireworks season becomes a top priority. To shed light on this topic, Dr Jo Myers, practicing veterinarian on Vetster, a digital platform which connects licensed vets with pet owners, shares five tips on keeping your pups peaceful during fireworks season:
Do Your Research
Start by finding out when local fireworks displays are scheduled in your area. If it’s your first year with a pet, it’s best to stay home or arrange for someone to care for your pet indoors. Remember that fireworks can pop up unexpectedly, so be prepared for the unexpected.
Designate a secure and cozy area within your home where your dog can retreat to during fireworks. This could be a quiet room, a comfortable crate, or a familiar corner with their favourite blanket. Ensure that this space is away from windows and doors to minimise exposure to noise and bright lights.
Recognise Signs of Distress and Offer Comfort
Pay attention to how your pet is behaving and recognise the signs of distress, such as barking, shaking, defecating in the house, panting, and hiding. Understanding your pet’s stress indicators will enable you to act quickly and provide the comfort they need. Dogs often look to their human family members for reassurance. Staying calm and comforting can help your dog feel less anxious during fireworks or other stressful situations.
Keep Them Indoors and Create a Calm Environment
During fireworks displays, it’s best to keep your dog indoors, as the noise and unpredictability of fireworks can make even the most well-behaved dog anxious and may lead to attempts to escape. Ensure all doors and windows are secure and create a serene atmosphere by closing curtains or blinds to block the view of the fireworks. Dimmed lighting also contributes to a calmer environment for your dog. Use White Noise or Music
Keep Your Pet Distracted
If your pet is displaying signs of anxiety, do your best to help them. You can distract them with sounds such as the TV or radio. Classic FM will be playing a soothing playlist especially for pets which you can play loudly. Engaging your dog in play or offering special treats or toys can help divert their attention from the fireworks outside. Puzzle toys filled with treats can keep their minds occupied and alleviate anxiety.
Consult Your Veterinarian
If your dog has severe anxiety during fireworks displays, it may be beneficial to consult a veterinarian, such as Vetster who can provide advice and support.