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Firework display

Help your dog cope with fireworks

by Sandra Issar

Our four legged friends can find fireworks frightening and with people often setting off fireworks in their gardens in the run up to, and during Halloween and Bonfire night, it can be quite a stressful time for our dogs – but there are some things you can do to help.

While fireworks can be exciting for most people, for dogs the sudden, unpredictable, bright and loud noise of fireworks can be stressful. Knowsley Council is sharing Dogs Trust advice on how to help your dog cope:

  • Walk your dog only in daylight hours, perhaps skipping the evening walk and doing additional play and training inside.
  • Try not to leave your dog alone when there is a risk of fireworks.
  • Close the curtains and leave the TV or radio on.
  • Seek advice from your vet – dogs with severe fears can be prescribed medication to reduce anxiety.
  • If your dog comes to you for reassurance during fireworks, it is fine to give them attention for now, but you need to teach him or her a different way of coping in the future, to avoid him or her being much more scared if fireworks go off when you’re not at home.
  • If you have a confident canine who doesn’t appear to be concerned by fireworks, it’s still a good idea to engage them in activities like simple training involving their favourite toy or treat, or perhaps give them a food activity toy to keep them distracted from the loud noises.
  • Plan for next year! If your dog is frightened, then start teaching them that fireworks noises are nothing to be sacred of by gradually associating the noise with something nice. You can do this by introducing them to the Sounds Scary programme available to download on the Dogs Trust website.

To find out more about how to keep your dog relaxed during fireworks visit the Dogs Trust website.

For further information about setting fireworks off safety and the Firework Code please read this advice on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service website.