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Fireworks? Already?

It's only September, so why am I writing a post about fireworks when we'd next expect them in November? Many dogs in the UK are frightened of fireworks. As far as they are concerned, fireworks occur suddenly without warning and for no reason! Those who show fear of fireworks can show very extreme behaviours such as running away, hiding, shaking and toileting. Some show more subtle signs such as licking lips, panting, moving underneath a table, and being more clingy with owners. Dogs who show more subtle behaviours to fireworks may still experience the same stress as those who are more extreme, so it's important to recognise and help treat their fears equally.

Dog hiding behind sofa after hearing a loud noise
Dog hiding behind sofa after hearing a loud noise

Don't wait until the 5th November, start preparing for fireworks ahead of time. Contact your vet to discuss your dog and any possible medications that might help your dog on nights when fireworks are expected. Remember that pain can be a contributing factor to many fears, so this is another reason to have regular vet health checks.

It is possible to help many dogs learn that fireworks aren't as scary as they think, but this is a process that takes time and dedication, well before fireworks are anticipated. This is through a process called Desensitisation, followed by Counter Conditioning. The Dog's Trust have a fantastic resource, called Sounds Scary. It contains high quality soundtracks of fireworks, and other noises dogs can be frightened of.

It's important to start Desensitisation when your dog is relaxed and not already frightened, this is why we start it well before we expect fireworks to be a problem. The Sounds Scary by The Dog's Trust can be found on this link: If you would like more help with your dog's behaviour, to understand why they do what they do and how to help them, especially if they are fearful, then please do get in touch to arrange a behaviour consultation.

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