A guide to fireworks for the anxious doggo

by | Dog Care |

It can be fun to celebrate special occasions with fireworks, but what about your anxious doggo? We have some tips to help ease your dog’s anxiety if you’re choosing to enjoy fireworks for Victoria Day this year.

Why are fireworks scary?

It’s important to keep in mind, fireworks are a completely foreign experience for animals. Fireworks come without warning and can be very frightening as a result.

Even if you live far from any public firework displays, be prepared for private fireworks close to home. Before any fireworks start, follow these simple tips to keep your dog calm and safe.

Tips to keep your dog calm and safe
  • Keep your dog indoors during firework displays, making sure to close windows and companion animal doors leading outside. Startled animals will seek a place to hide. This means if your cat or dog manages to get outside, it can be very easy to lose them. Being inside the house will also help dampen any loud noises.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing its collar and ID tags (or better yet, make sure your dog is microchipped). In case they get out, this will ensure you can find them again.
  • Walk your dog before it gets dark to avoid going outside once the fireworks start.
  • Have a safe place for your dog to feel at ease, like a crate or other den-like enclosure.
  • You can block out some of the flashing lights by keeping curtains closed and by placing a blanket over your dog’s crate.
  • Your dog may pace around, make noise, or search for a place to hide. Let them be—trying to coddle or comfort your dog will indicate that something is wrong and add to their anxiety. By staying calm and relaxed, you’ll help reassure your dog that there’s no real danger.
  • If you know that your dog is frightened by fireworks, try to have someone at home to stay with them.
  • Even if your dog doesn’t show signs of distress around fireworks, resist the urge to bring them with you to watch a fireworks display. Dogs are far more sensitive to the sounds and smells produced by fireworks then us and would be much happier having a quiet night in.

For additional tips on how to keep your companion animal calm during firework celebrations on the Victoria Day long weekend, talk to your veterinarian or a certified behavioural expert.

Read tips here for small animals and fireworks!

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