Fireworks Safety (For Parents)

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The lead up lớn any celebration with fireworks, such as New Years Eve, Diwali & particular Bonfire Night, can be a very traumatic time for many dogs. The loud bangs & flashes created by fireworks can often be very frightening for them, making them stressed and unpredictable, potentially putting their safety at risk.

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80 per cent of owners notice a change in their dogs behaviour during fireworks season and nearly half (48 per cent) say that their dogs are scared by them. If you know your dog is frightened by fireworks then you can help by planning ahead & taking steps to lớn make your dog feel calm, safe và secure.Go straight khổng lồ our advice on how to lớn help your dog.


Fireworks can be frightening lớn dogs because of the loud bangs, the flashing lights and unpleasant strong smell of spent explosives. With multiple bangs occurring from numerous displays, dogs will rarely be able to lớn pinpoint where the booming explosions are coming from. Not knowing what an explosion is, where it’s coming from, or where và when the next one is going to lớn be must be truly terrifying for some dogs.


Dogs are renowned for having an incredible sense of smell, but their hearing is remarkable too. Dogs can hear sounds that are four times further away than we can, & they can also detect significantly higher frequencies. A dog’s acute sense of hearing means that loud noises that are tolerable khổng lồ us might be uncomfortable & unpleasant to them.

It’s natural for a dog lớn be wary of loud noises, particularly if they don’t know what the noise is, or where it’s coming from. Evolution has hard-wired dogs with incredible survival instincts, và loud unexpected noises can trigger a fight-or-flight response. Your dog’s reaction lớn loud noises is largely determined by their personality and past experiences. If your dog was scared by fireworks once, then chances are, they will remember it & be scared again.


Noise aversion can be influenced, to some degree, by breed, age and sex. Even the way your dog reacts to loud sounds could be partly controlled by their genetics, with research showing that German Shepherd Dogs are more likely to pace when stressed, while Border Collies và Australian Cattle Dogs are more likely khổng lồ hide.

Early October is a particularly good time of year to lớn make sure that your dog"s microchip details are up khổng lồ date & that they are wearing a collar and ID tag. If you think there"s going to be fireworks going off near you, và you know your microchip details are not up-to-date, its important to get them corrected as soon as possible. Dogs can react very badly to lớn the unfamiliar sights and sounds of fireworks. Statistics show that in previous years there has been a rise in calls lớn the Petlog lost pet line at the end of October and beginning of November. It can never be stressed enough how important it is khổng lồ make sure your details are kept up khổng lồ date. Currently 53 per cent of microchips have incorrect owner details, meaning that if a pet goes missing many dogs may not be able to lớn be returned to lớn their owners.

For more information on microchipping, visit Petlog.


Check where và when fireworks displays are being held in your local area, so that you know when to lớn expect fireworks. Also ask your neighbours lớn let you know if they are planning any unofficial displays of their own khổng lồ help you prepare.

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In the weeks or even months leading up to "fireworks season" you can help your dog become used khổng lồ loud noises by acclimatising them lớn the sound of fireworks. There are many noise CDs on the market, plenty of downloadable content or you could try playing our Spotify playlist (see below) lớn introduce your dog to lớn these sounds in a controlled way.

Warning: If your pet is severely noise phobic, sound CDs or playlists may make the situation worse and it may be a good idea to speak to lớn an experienced animal behaviourist. Kennel Club Accredited Instructors are experienced in different aspects of dog training and behaviour.


It"s important that you don"t play these sounds loudly to lớn your dog straight away. Getting your dog used khổng lồ the noise of fireworks will take time và patience, so please follow our guidance in the tab below.


How can I help my dog not be scared of fireworks (known as desensitisation)?Play our Spotify fireworks playlist (see above), find other downloadable nội dung or purchase a CD of firework soundsSettle your dog in a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed. Ideally somewhere your dog feels safe.Start by playing the firework noises very quietly. The first time you vì this it should be so quiet that you can only just hear it. This shouldn’t cause your dog any distress.While the noises play, give them treats, play with them and give them lots of positive attention. Over time you want your dog to begin to lớn associate the noise of the fireworks with something positive.Play the noises for just a few minutes at a time & then stop và do something different in another room.Repeat this, either several times a day for at least a couple of weeks, or several times a week for several months. This process can’t be rushed and the more time you give your dog time lớn get used lớn these noises, the better.Each time you play the noises, turn up the volume a little. If your dog doesn’t seem happy then stop the noises straight away. If this happens, it’s possible that you may be progressing too quickly for them, so try it a little quieter again next time.
vị trí cao nhất up your dog’s water bowl. Anxious dogs pant more & become thirsty.Feed your dog a while before you expect any disturbances. Once the fireworks start, your dog may be too anxious lớn eat.Walk your dog before dusk. It may be some time before it’s safe for your dog khổng lồ venture outside and relieve themselves.Always make sure that your garden is escape proof, just in case a firework goes off when you take them into the garden to go to the toilet.Make sure you shut all doors và windows in your home and don’t fnhatroso.comet to lớn draw the curtains. This will block out any scary flashes of light & reduce the noise cấp độ of fireworks. Don’t fnhatroso.comet khổng lồ block off cat flaps lớn stop dogs (and cats) escaping.Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to lớn if they feel scared. You could drape a thick duvet over the đứng top of it to make it more sound proof, but make sure that the duvet is secure và can"t fall on khổng lồ your dog. Fill the den with their favourite blankets, toys, or an tòa tháp of unwashed clothing to help them feel more secure.If your dog has been very scared of fireworks before then talk khổng lồ your vet about possible medications or products that can help reduce your dog"s anxiety.
Distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on. If you"re going to play music loudly, then make sure it"s music that you"re dog is familiar with and has heard you play before. You don"t want your dog to liên kết their fear of fireworks with a new type of music.Try lớn act và behave as normal, as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy & cheerful as this will send positive signals to lớn your dog.Your dog might choose khổng lồ hide under the bed or behind furniture; if they come to lớn you for comfort, make sure that you give it to lớn them. Ignoring your dog would only make things worse as they wouldn’t understand your withdrawal from them.Always reward calm behaviour with dog treats or playing.Never try to force your dog lớn face their fears – they’ll just become more frightened.Never try and tempt them out if they vị retreat, as this may cause more stress.Never tell your dog off. This will only make your pet more distressed. It is important khổng lồ remember that it is natural for a dog to be scared of loud noises and unfamiliar sights và sounds.If you need to open the front door, shut your dog safely inside a room first.
Never take your dog khổng lồ a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don’t assume they"re happy. Excessive yawning và panting can indicate that your dog is stressedAlso, never tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off
If you’ve previously tried everything & your dog is still stressed then speak khổng lồ your vet. They may be able lớn suggest a medication that helps keep your dog calmer. If you"re considering giving your dog any remedies or medications khổng lồ help them cope with stress, then always speak to lớn your vet first, especially if they have any health problems, or are taking any medication, và always follow the manufacturers" instructions.

We recommend speaking to a dog behaviourist in your area about any potential behavioural issues that may arise around this time of year, as they are experts in the field. They can offer invaluable advice which will help to safeguard the health và happiness of your dog & make sure their experience of Bonfire Night is as positive as possible.


Think your dog may be affected?

If you"re worried about your dog"s health, always contact your vet immediately!

We"re not a veterinary nhatroso.comanisation & so we can"t give veterinary advice, but if you"re worried about any of the issues raised in this article, please tương tác your local vet practice for further information.


Find a vet near you

If you"re looking for a vet practice near you why not visit the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons" Find a vet page.


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