Reducing firework anxiety for dogs

Reducing firework anxiety for dogs

The big bangs that come alongside fireworks are loud enough for us as humans, so you can imagine how your dog feels with their powerful sense of hearing. We asked Joii Behaviourist Nat what dog parents can do at home to help minimise the anxiety, and instead of make it a comfortable evening for all.

1. Create a safe place for your dog

The best place to start is by creating a cosy den that acts as a safe place for them, filled with pillows, blankets and treats. Set it up ahead of time to get them comfortable with it. You can start placing treats there to get them familiar with it. On the night, try filling a Kong with their favourite snacks to keep them distracted.
Nat recommends staying home and comforting your dog if they need it. There's a lot of misinformation about ignoring dogs as it could "reinforce the fear", but we believe that this will only create a pretty terrible experience for your pooch.

2. Shield the home

Be sure to close all your windows to minimise the noise, and close all blinds and curtains to prevent flashes. If you have to go outside for any reason, be sure to close the door of the room your dog is in so they are not exposed to anything happening outdoors.

Make sure your garden is secure and take your dog out on a lead if they need a toilet break (ideally before it gets dark). And if you can, ask your neighbours if they considering letting off fireworks and if so, what time. This can help you plan to go elsewhere or turn up the TV.

3. Use a pheromone diffuser

It may be beneficial to install a pheromone diffuser which releases calming pheromones to minimise stress and create a safe and secure environment. Pheromones are invisible chemicals that pets use to communicate different messages with each other. A pheromone diffuser cleverly recreates messages that promote calmness in dogs and cats.

4. Tire your dog out earlier on

You may need to adjust your schedule slightly. We recommend going on a longer walk earlier on in the day. As the evening draws in, feed your dog a nice meal and put the heating on so your dog is tired and cosy. The best case scenario is that your dog ends up sleeping through it all!

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