How to relieve fear of fireworks in dogs

Sådan afhjælpes angst for fyrværkeri hos hunde

Not only on New Year's Eve day and night itself, but often many days before, depending on your geographical location, fireworks are set off to the detriment of many animals. Flashes of light and loud bangs give rise to nervousness and downright anxiety. Read here how you can best help your dog through the last day of the year.

Air your dog during the day

Fireworks are typically set off throughout the day, but in the evening it is the worst. Take a walk in the woods or to the beach, where you can escape the fireworks, and go for a long, quiet walk for dinner or afternoon, and then let your dog stay inside in peace and quiet for the evening.

Keep your dog on a leash

Every year, animal hospitals around Denmark receive dogs that have been too close to fireworks. Typically to protect their owner from something apparently dangerous. Make sure you are the one taking care of your dog and not the other way around. Leave the dog on a lead in the days between Christmas and New Year, when the chance of fireworks is greatest, and keep a good distance if possible.

Take away

If you have the opportunity, it is a good idea to take your dog away on New Year's Eve - especially if you live in an area where a lot of fireworks are set off. Perhaps the New Year's dinner can be held in a holiday home or with family or friends in the countryside?

Derived from nervousness

Don't scold your dog if he squeals out of insecurity, but don't pity him either, as this only reinforces his feelings. Instead, try to divert; invite it to the sofa under the blanket, have new toys or a chew bone ready. With something else to think about, the fireworks might not be so bad after all.

Turn off light and sound

It is almost impossible to shut out all light and sound from the fireworks, and you may not want to either. But where the dog's basket is, or where it mainly stays, you can advantageously draw the curtains and turn on some music, which can slightly shield the loud bangs from outside.

Talk to your vet

If you know in advance that your dog reacts with anxiety to fireworks on New Year's Eve to such an extent that it beeps continuously, urinates in fear or hides and refuses to come out, you should consult your vet, as your dog will most likely have good for some sedative to get through the evening.

Never leave your dog alone on New Year's Eve

Even if your dog is used to being home alone, you should not leave him alone on New Year's Eve. Even if the dog does not react when you are at home, it can easily become frightened if it is left to itself. Most dogs react to one degree or another and will need to be looked after. It can be traumatizing for dogs to be left alone with their anxiety. Have the New Year's dinner at your place, bring your dog or have it looked after in a safe place.

Get your dog groomed

If your dog is scared, he wants the best to be with you. But maybe you can completely avoid it being scared by getting it looked after. If you don't have the opportunity or desire to go away for the New Year, you should consider whether a family member in the countryside can look after your dog. Some dog pensions also offer New Year's care in quiet surroundings. However, make sure that your dog has been to the daycare before, so that he does not have to deal with new surroundings, new people and fireworks at the same time.

Prevent New Year's anxiety in dogs

It is a completely natural reaction for your dog to react to fireworks. These are light and sound experiences on such a scale that it is physically uncomfortable for the dog. Its natural behavior will be to fight or to flee, and the experience will in the vast majority of cases be flight, as sound and light on that scale are associated with danger. Of course, the best thing would be not to expose your dog to New Year, but this is rarely possible, and therefore it is all about getting used to it.

Already in puppyhood, dogs should be used to sound and light experiences beyond the usual, so that they have the opportunity to become comfortable with it before they experience their first New Year. In addition, they must be helped through the evening by diversion and love.

See our selection of products here:
Calming for dogs & cats on New Year's Eve

Act on the use of fireworks

Previously, fireworks were set off throughout December and well into January, but a new law came into force in 2014, and it is now only allowed to set off fireworks in the period 27 December to 1 January. As far as animals are concerned, it is a quite sensible law, as it limits the use of fireworks and thus the animals' fear of the overwhelming light and sound experiences. If you have neighbors who do not comply with the law, you can contact the police as with any other offence.

See our selection of products here:
Calming for dogs & cats on New Year's Eve

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