Although most of us are excited to enjoy the fireworks on New Year’s Eve, it can be a very overwhelming time for your dog.
Dogs experience fireworks differently to other natural loud noises such as thunder. Fireworks create burning smells, are accompanied by sudden booms and flashes of light, and the vibrations are closer to the ground.
There are a number of things you can do to make sure the fireworks are a stress free time for you and your pet.
Before the fireworks
- If you know there are fireworks close to where you live, arrange for your pooch to stay at a friend or family member’s house. Make sure they are comfortable and familiar with their surroundings.
- Close all windows, doors and doggy flaps securely so your dog is in a secure and safe space.
- Ensure your dog is wearing their proper identification (i.e. a collar with owner contact details) in case they run away.
During the fireworks
- Remain calm and relaxed and try to ignore any signs of fear, stress or anxiety your dog may have. Any praise or cuddling you give them can reinforce their stressed behaviour, so try to only reward calm and relaxed behaviour.
- If your dog does not respond well to fireworks, try not to leave them unattended and don’t let them go outside by themselves.
- Allow your dog to go wherever they feel comfortable and safe within your house even if this isn’t where they you would normally let them go, like on the lounge or upstairs.
After the fireworks
- Allow your dog to leave its comfortable area when it feels safe and ready.
- If you find that your pup is nervous to go outside once the fireworks are over, use treats or toys to reward it for going out.
- The fireworks can last longer than one night throughout the festive season, so be prepared for any unexpected fireworks and keep your dog calm.
From all of us at Guide Dogs, we hope you and your furry friends enjoy a safe and happy start to 2017. Happy New Year!