Dogs and Firework The Do’s and Don’ts

The Dos:

Allow your dog to find a safe place in your home; it could be his crate, under the sofa, under your bed or even under the bed sheets (be lenient on a night like this). Dogs like small spaces, and places that smell of you; your human smell will feel very comforting to your dog.

You could also sleep with a few small blankets in your bed for a few nights, and leave them in your dog's crate or den so it smells comforting.

Let your dog come out when he is ready, and praise him then, but don’t force him out.

Go for walks before dusk, when and where you know there won’t be any fireworks. Also, make sure you give your dog plenty of exercise on that day so he is tired and more relaxed in the evening.

During fireworks engage your dog in fun activities, such as Training, Food Games, or Tug-of-War so he his distracted.

Try to stay happy and cheerful, your dog can pick up on your emotions. Stay calm, and reward your dog for staying calm too. Try to keep him into a calm state, instead of trying to reassure him once he’s become anxious.

Close curtains and leave the TV or the radio on to cover the noise. If you are going to be doing this, start leaving the radio on for a few weeks before the dreaded night, so your dog gets used to it and only finds this new sound relaxing.

You should also make sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date nametag and is microchipped. Some dogs turn into little Houdinis on such nights, so make sure he can be identified and returned to you should this happen.

dog-afraid-of-fireworks

 

 

The Don’ts:

Don’t leave your dog alone at home, or in a different room from the one you’re in. Do not leave your dog in the car.

Don’t bring your dog to firework displays, even if you think your dog likes it. He might not show obvious signs of stress, but this doesn’t mean he’s not actually stressed and scared.

Don’t punish your dog for being nervous or anxious.

Don’t assume your house is escape proof.

Finally, don’t make things worse by forcing your dog to face his fear. This does not work, and you will probably make things worse.

 

 

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Oli provides One on One training sessions across London and also has a weekly blog on his website.

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