We understand that noisy celebrations such as Halloween, Bonfire Night, Diwali, Christmas and New Year can cause nervousness in pets. However, by taking the appropriate steps to plan ahead of these scheduled events, you can minimise unnecessary stress and anxiety for your pet.
Signs of anxiety to look out for in dogs
- Cowering or hiding
- Abnormal vocalisation (barking or whining)
- Pacing or circling the room
- Excessive yawning or lip licking
- Need to stay close to their owner
- Soiling the house
- Refusing to eat
Top tips for dogs
✓ Start to walk your dogs before dusk – ensure they are back indoors before fireworks begin
✓ Ensure all windows and doors are shut
✓ Close curtains to reduce the impact of flashes
✓ Make a den/retreat, so your dog has somewhere they feel safe and secure
✓ Turn on the TV or radio to drown out the noise of fireworks
✓ Make tasty treats or toys available as a distraction
✓ Try to ignore any reactions your dog makes to the fireworks – they may see this as a sign that you are worried about the noise yourself.
Why not make a dog den/refuge
Make the den a few weeks before the expected fireworks to allow time for familiarisation.
- Choose a room your dog is used to and preferably one you will be in during firework times
- Use bedding they already have so it has a familiar smell
- A puppy crate is an ideal starting point if you have one
- If you do not have a crate, an enclosed area of the room is helpful, for example, a gap between the sofa and the wall
- Use blankets to cover the den to create an enclosed and darkened area
- Now that you have made a safe place, you could offer food or lay a treat trail so that your dog gets used to their den and associates it with pleasurable things
There are a range of products available to purchase in practice to help alleviate stress for your dog, from sprays to calming food supplements.
If your dog starts to show significant signs of anxiety, please contact us to discuss all the options available to you to ensure they remain as calm as possible.