According to Amanda Sands, director of the Leeds Rehoming Center, dogs have around four times more sensitive hearing than humans. Therefore, the loud bangs of fireworks can often terrify and confuse them.
1. Walk your dog before it gets dark
Make sure your dog is exercising and taking a toilet break well before the fireworks start.
2. Feed your dog before the fireworks
It is important that your dog is well fed before the fireworks start, as he may become too restless to eat during the fireworks.
3. Keep your home and garden safe
Make sure your yard and home are secure during fireworks to prevent your dog from trying to run away if he’s scared and gets lost.
4. Provide a safe hiding place
Make sure your dog has a safe place in the house or his favorite room to run. For example, a comfy bed or under a table with blankets to make it comfortable and help soundproof the space. Make sure the curtains are closed, turn on the lights, and turn up the volume on your TV or radio to help block out the sound of the fireworks.
5. Keep your dog busy during fireworks
If your dog is busy with something inside, it can help him forget about the sound of fireworks; play games or practice rewards-based training.
6. Comfort and reassure your dog
If you are calm, your dog will feel calm. Avoid berating your dog during fireworks, as this may worry him more.
If your dog wants to hide, don’t force him out of his hiding place, let him stay where he feels safe.
Here are some tips if you plan to light fireworks at home:
1. Inform your neighbors well in advance so that they can prepare their dogs.
2. Limit your display to 30 minutes or less
3. Choose a fireworks display that is quieter and lower in decibels
Ms Sands said, “There are a lot of things owners can do to help make fireworks less stressful for their dogs. Simple steps like providing them with safe spaces to hide or setting them up before the fireworks display can make a big difference.
“We also urge anyone considering hosting their own fireworks display to consider the well-being of their four-legged friends and other people in the neighborhood by following our firework dog code.”
For more tips on how to prevent and manage the fear of loud noises such as fireworks, please visit the Dogs Trust Leeds website.