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Dogs and Firework - 8 Tips to Calm Your Dog

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This article has been written in partnership with Sadie Rutter, a professional dog groomer from The Ulti-Mutt Groomer.

As we are quickly approaching bonfire night there will be many owners who will be hesitant about their beloved pooches and the dreaded fireworks. Unless you have a dog who is a hater of this season you may be slightly oblivious to how drawn out it is. Whereas it used to be a day or maybe a weekend event, it now feels as though it goes on for weeks.  

As a human, I adore fireworks night, and luckily for me, my dogs are always snoring louder than the bangs going on outside the window. However, it affects a lot of the customer’s in my dog grooming salon. Often we try to book the affected dogs appointments around when the local displays are on, as they are normally very unsure and nervous the following day or two. Staying calm and relaxed as owners will help your dogs in this situation, as they feed off our energy as their beloved humans. 

It is important to be aware and able to identify the common signs that your dog may be stressed. This way you are able to monitor them, help calm them down and comfort them when needed. 

How to spot that your dog is stressed.

  1. Panting and drooling.

  2. Itching, licking, scratching and barking.

  3. Shaking and shivering.

  4. Laid back ears.

  5. Pacing and unsettled behaviour.

  6. Bloodshot eyes, or wide eyes where the whites are very obvious.

  7. Sickness and Diarrhoea.

    If any of these symptoms are prolonged then seeking the attention of a vet would be advised. 

8 Tips to calm your dog:

  1. Close all the curtains. 

  2. Turn up the TV or Radio. 

  3. Try to avoid being out in the fireworks whether it be out walking or in the car. 

  4. A bit of distraction.  It may be a great time to buy an antler for your dog to chew on, and take their mind off the scary sounds. 

  5. Try hiding some of their favourite treats around a room they feel comfortable in, and create a game keeping them happy and engaged. 

  6. Lots of praise, love and comfort. Try to be patient of your pooch if they are pacing around, and whining or barking (easier said than done I understand). 

  7. Adaptil for dogs has designed a diffuser which helps stressed or anxious dogs, by secreting a calming hormone (pheromone). It is commonly sold in pet shops and online so easy to track down and try.

  8. Thundershirt’s are also a great product, and one I have personally used on one of my dogs for separation anxiety. They are tight shirts which are designed to ensure your dog is feeling more secure for any times of stress. 

I hope some of these ideas may help you at this lovely, but stressful time of year for our pets. It is also worth reminding you all that you are the best comfort blanket for your dog. So try to stay in and be around for them when they need you the most, and this will help keep them the calmest they can be.

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Blog Author.

A big thanks go out to Sadie Rutter from Ulti-Mutt Groomers in Christchurch Dorset for her expert advice and experience on keeping your dog calm during firework season. If you would like to contact Sadie you can do so at theulti-muttgroomer.co.uk, or via The Ulti-Mutt Groomer Facebook. Keep an eye out for more articles by Sadie coming soon.