Fireworks and our pets
Fireworks season is a time that many pet-owners dread. It can be distressing for our animals and be a stressful time all round.
But planning ahead can help dogs cope. Before the fireworks season starts, provide your dog with a doggy safe haven. This should be a quiet area, so choose one of the quietest rooms in your home - a place where they feel in control. Don't interfere with your dog when they're in that area.
Train your dog to associate the area with positive experiences, e.g. by leaving their favourite toys there, but not imposing yourself at any time. Use a variety of chew toys, such as stuffed Kongs and chews. Swap them regularly, putting them away when not in use so that your dog doesn't become bored with them.
With time, dogs can learn that this place is safe and enjoyable. When fireworks go off, they may choose to go there because they know that they are safe in that place. It's important that your dog has access to this doggy safe haven at all times - even when you're not at home.
When the fireworks start
Walk your dog during daylight hours to avoid times when fireworks are likely to be set off.
Move your dog to the safe haven each evening before the fireworks begin. Provide toys and other things that they enjoy in the safe haven.
Make sure there are things for you to do too, so your dog isn't left alone.
Close windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks. Blackout your doggy safe haven, so they can't see any flashes outside.
Put on some music or TV to mask the firework sounds.
Ignore the firework noises yourself. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don't force them to play.
You could also talk to your vet about pheromone diffusers, such as Adaptil. These disperse calming chemicals into the room and may be a good option for your dog. There are also supplements available, such are Nutracalm from Nutrivet. In some cases, your vet may even prescribe medication.
For more information,