As the festive season approaches, so does the excitement of Diwali, New Year’s, and Christmas celebrations. While we humans revel in the colourful displays of fireworks, our furry friends might not share the same enthusiasm. The loud noises and bright lights can be distressing for dogs, causing anxiety and stress. Here are some tips to ensure your canine companion stays calm and comfortable during the upcoming festivities. In this blog post, we take you through various ways to prepare for the fireworks
Understanding Canine Anxiety
Before diving into the preparations, it’s essential to understand why dogs get anxious during fireworks. Dogs have heightened senses, and the sudden loud noises and flashes of light can trigger fear and stress. Recognising these signs is the first step in addressing the issue.
Here are some tips to ensure your canine companion stays calm and comfortable during the upcoming festivities.
Create a Safe Haven: Designate a safe and comfortable space for your dog to retreat to during fireworks. This can be a cozy corner with their bed, toys, and some familiar items. Make sure the area is soundproofed as much as possible, drawing curtains and closing windows to minimise noise.
Gradual Desensitisation: In the weeks leading up to the celebrations, expose your dog to recorded firework sounds at a low volume. Gradually increase the volume over time, rewarding calm behaviour with treats and affection. This helps desensitise them to the noises, making the actual event less stressful.
Establish a Routine: Stick to your dog’s regular routine as much as possible during festive days. Maintain regular feeding times, walks, and play sessions. A consistent routine can provide a sense of normalcy and comfort, helping to ease anxiety.
Comforting Techniques: Use calming techniques to help soothe your dog. Consider using calming pheromone diffusers or sprays, and try playing soft music or white noise to drown out the loud sounds. Some dogs find comfort in wearing snug-fitting anxiety wraps.
Identification and Safety Measures: Ensure your dog has proper identification, such as a collar with updated tags and a microchip. This is crucial in case they get startled and accidentally escape. Additionally, keep them indoors during peak firework times to prevent them from running away.
Positive Reinforcement: During and after fireworks, reward your dog for calm behavior. Use treats, praise, and playtime to reinforce positive associations with the experience, helping them build confidence over time.
Consult with a Veterinarian: If your dog has a history of severe anxiety or if you’re unsure about the best approach, consult with your veterinarian. They can provide personalised advice, recommend anti-anxiety medications if necessary, or suggest professional training options.
With a combination of understanding, preparation, and positive reinforcement, you can help your dog navigate the challenges of fireworks season. By creating a safe environment and addressing their anxiety, you’ll ensure that your furry friend can enjoy the festivities alongside you. Remember, a little extra care goes a long way in making the holiday season enjoyable for everyone in the family, including your four-legged companions.