Firework and noise anxiety
Firework season can be a stressful time for both dogs and owners as many dogs have a fear of fireworks and other loud noises.
Symptoms of noise anxiety
- Panting excessively
- Not settling in their bed
- Holding their tail between their legs
What you can do yourself
- Calming supplements can help to reduce anxiety levels, such as Nutracalm, Zylkene, Kalmaid, Adaptil tablets. These need to be started 4-6 weeks before firework season.
- Other products include ThunderShirts and plug-in diffusers and sprays; Adaptil contains dog appeasing pheromone, whilst Pet Remedy contains a blend of calming essential oils.
- Walk your dog earlier in the day and always keep them on the lead.
- Keep your dog indoors when fireworks are being set off.
- Muffle the noise by switching on the TV or radio and close the curtains to block any flashing lights from outside.
- Let your worried dog pace around, whine and hide in a corner if that is what they want to do. Once they have found a safe space try not to disturb them.
- Provide a safe area; putting an item of clothing or their toys in there might help to keep your dog calm.
- Comfort you dog - try not to let your dog know you are worried as it can make the problem worse. Stay calm, act normally and praise them for calm behaviour. Cuddle or stroke your dog if it helps them to relax.
- Do not tie your dog up outside a shop, leave them in the garden or alone in the car while fireworks are being let off.
- Never take a dog to a firework display.
Treatment of firework and noise anxiety
Specific behavioural training in advance of an anticipated event will help to reduce your pet’s adverse response to the noise. Mild sedative drugs can be prescribed by your veterinarian and are best used in combination with appropriate training techniques, which may help to achieve a more beneficial outcome. If your vet has prescribed prescription medication then we recommend that you do not leave your dog alone. Further advice is available from the Dogs Trust.
When to see your physical veterinarian
- If your dog’s behaviour doesn’t improve consult a veterinarian or a certified pet behaviourist about help and support for training techniques and relaxation protocols.
- Prescription medication is available from your veterinarian and may to help to reduce your pet’s anxiety.
Book a video appointment to have a chat with one of our vets.