6 Tips for Keeping Your Anxious Dog Calm on Firework Night

6 handy tips to help reduce stress and anxiety and keep your dog calm during fireworks!

6 Tips for Keeping Your Anxious Dog Calm on Firework Night

1. Naturecan Pet CBD Dog Treats

hungarian vizsla taking Naturecan CBD treat from owner weating a Twiggy Tags Adventure Harness

Did you know you can buy CBD treats for pets? Our friends at Naturecan have talked to us about the benefits of this product for our four-legged friends to help manage their stress around fireworks, with Bonfire Night and NYE coming up!

 

Naturecan CBD Calming Treats contain CBD and other hero ingredients including Passionflower, Chamomile and Valerian Root. All of these ingredients work perfectly together to promote calmness, support with relaxation and encourage sleep - something that's invaluable for a dog who is nervous of fireworks! As a bonus they are peanut butter flavoured so no finding ways to trick your dog into eating these! Shop Here

 

PS. If you use code FIREWORK25 at checkout this week you get 25% off!

2. DIY Den to Help Them Feel Safe & Secure

While dogs have evolved a long way away from their original wolf counterparts, elements of their origins have stuck around. One of these wolf-like traits is that dogs often feel extra safe and secure in small, dark areas. Not unlike dens that wolf pups are born living inside. Ever notice your dog likes to sleep in their crate, in corners or rooms or under your bed? These are den equivalents for our modern day pooch.

 

Not every dog has a crate and that's ok - you can DIY a den like area for them in preparation for Bonfire Night in loads of different ways! Try popping their bed into a dark corner of the room, shaded by a sofa, or even set up a little sheet fort in the lounge if you can! Just make sure you're always supervising and that the dog can come and go if they want to!

3. Calming Enrichment Toys & Games

black labroador with lickimat, enrichment games and snuffle mats to help keep dogs calm on firework and bonfire night

In simple terms, enrichment is just ways of engaging your dog's brain and body! So it could be anything from a short game of fetch or a session of trick training, to puzzle toys and long-lasting chews!

 

For calming an anxious dog during Bonfire Night, we recommend focussing specifically on low energy calming enrichment activities. Two of the most efficient ways that dogs calm themselves are by sniffing and by licking. A great activity that you could even start before any fireworks begin is to have your dog sniff for treats. An amazing tool for this game is a fleece snuffle mat or snuffle toy, but this can be done on a budget simply with a cardboard box and some tissue paper (we recycle our old Twiggy Tags postage boxes and recycled tissue paper for this!) Just hide some treats in the box underneath and within the paper and let your dog sniff them out - add double the calming effect by using the Naturecan CBD treats for these games! As always these sort of games should be supervised for safety! Only let them eat the treats (not the paper!)

 

We also recommend enrichment lick mats for spreading peanut butter or your dog's favourite pate onto to reap the calming benefits of licking! It's even better when it's frozen like Bear's Mandala!

 

4. Comfort Your Pooch!

Cocker Spaniel cuddling owner who has mug saying boss lady in her hand and is wearing a Twiggy Tags Snugglywoof giant hoodie

Sometimes all our dogs need is some support from their humans! Every dog is different and will show you how much comfort they want or need - but don't be worried that comforting them will reinforce their fears! You can only reinforce a behaviour, not an emotion! If your dog is asking for some loving when they're frightened don't be afraid to give them what they're asking for!

 

Please always be mindful of dog's body language and make sure you give them space if that's what they want in the moment. You can always check and do consent tests when snuggling your pup - just stop stroking/holding them and see if they move away or if they reach in for more love!

5. Avoid the Fireworks as Much as Possible

This tip might seem a little simple - but we think it's one of the most important! So many people have a set routine for theirs and their dogs day. This means you wake up at the same time, work at the same time, eat at the same time and therefore walkies is at the same time everyday.

 

If you are an evening walker, if possible we recommend walking your dog early in the morning (or an extra long morning walk if they normally have two!) - it can be so easy to fall into normal routine and have your dog out after work in the early evening and before you know it fireworks are setting off right next to you and your dog before you can even get home and into a safe space!

6. Try Background Music & White Noise

We all know dogs senses are much better than ours and this includes hearing - it's what makes fireworks and other loud bangs so scary for them!

 

This is why we recommend keeping some background noise on at home for your dog on Bonfire Night, whether you think you can hear fireworks or not - it's better to be safe than sorry! Background noise in the same room as your dog can be essential to help block out the noise for them. They will probably still be able to hear fireworks  - especially if you live close to an event or have direct neighbours celebrating - but it can still help to greatly reduce to sudden-ness of the bangs!

 

Studies show that the types of music dogs find most calming and soothing are both classical music and reggae music. You can either tune into Classic FM who every year do a special night of classical music to help calm nervous dogs, or you can ask Alexa to play your favourite Bob Marley tracks. Either way - your dog will thank you for it!

Large Wolfdog settled on Twiggy Tags Adventure Mat relaxing in front of fireplace

As a final note, we do want to mention that the best possible thing for helping a nervous dog through fireworks is by working on desensitisation all throughout the year, not just in the few weeks leading up to the night. There are lots of videos on YouTube with firework noises and you can start very quiet and very slow. This isn't something you should do for the first time very close to Bonfire Night, as it may increase their anxiety a tiny amount as they're learning to adjust. This should be done sporadically, slowly and regularly all year round and we will be doing a post later in the year on how to work on this - maybe you won't even need these tips by next year!


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