top of page

Prepare your dog for fireworks

Preparing your dog for Fireworks

Here is a list of things you can do to prepare

  1. Set reminders on your calendar with fireworks heavy events such as Guy Fawkes Day, Diwali or Chinese New Year

  2. Do desensitisation training for your dog - full exercise below

  3. On the days that fireworks are likely, make sure you have a plan in place so your dog is not left alone and in distress

  4. Make your dog wear an anxiety vest or DIY an anxiety wrap when fireworks are likely

  5. Exercise your dog during the day. Give your dog extra walks or training during the day to drain their mental and physical energy so they are more likely to settle in the evening

  6. Provide extra enrichment like stuffed Kongs, chew toys and new toys to entertain and distract them

  7. Avoid taking them out between 5-11pm when fireworks are most likely

  8. Keep your dog on a long lead during the day if you think there may be a risk of loud noises

  9. Turn up the radio or TV - Preferably watch something that is fun or soothing. TV shows with loud and scary noises are best avoided

  10. Create a safe space for your dog by closing the blinds to block off visual stimulation, dim the lights and turn on the TV or radio to create ambient white noise. You can create a nice den for them by draping a thick blanket over a few chairs or a coffee table to make a cosy safe soundproof den

  11. Respect your dog’s space. Some dogs will seek comfort in their human companions and you can provide them comfort by leaning into them, giving them relaxing pets and scratches and sharing a blanket. Other dogs rather retreat to their safe space and not be touched. Don’t coax them out, rather you can support them by simply sitting in the same space and keeping an eye on them

  12. If your dog is showing a lot of distress and fear such as heavy panting, drooling, food avoidance, shaking, pacing, clingy, wild eyes, defecating/urinating indoors, panicking and escape attempts, you need to speak to a vet for advice on diffusers, nutritional supplements and medication that can help sooth your dog’s anxiety

  13. Do something nice to treat yourself. Dogs pick up on our emotions so doing something nice for yourself and your family will enhance the mood for everyone

Dog hidding in a dog house from fireworks. Step by step guide on what to do if your dog is scared of fireworks

WalkWagPlay training exercise

Desensitisation to sounds Build up relaxation in the presence of scary sounds

Goal: To get your dog to associate previously scary sounds to positive things and promote relaxation and calm

Why?: It’s impossible for us to explain to our dogs that fireworks and other loud sounds are not to be scared of. We want to prepare our dogs for the fact that loud sounds will happen in the environment and they don’t have to be afraid. We want to change our dog’s emotional response to a loud sound from a fearful to a neutral or even happy emotional response.

Instructions: 1) Get the scary sounds** ready to play and put it at a barely audible volume 2) Get some high value treats ready to hand out to your dog 3) Give your dog a few treats with no sound 4) Play the sounds whilst feeding your dog a treat 5) If your dog takes the treat, tell them they are a good dog* 6) Repeat 10 times at the same volume

Once your dog is comfortable with the current volume, feel free to increase the noise *If your dog refuses the treat, they are feeling anxious and it’s best to end the session and allow your dog to relax. In the next session you will want to implement one or more of the following : put the noise on a lower volume, play the noise from a different room or put on the TV or radio to offer background noise. Find the level where your dog feels comfortable and start from there.

Capturing: Have some treats around the house or on your person to reward the dog for hearing a loud noise and looking at you and remaining calm.

**You can get scary sound recordings:

Or Youtube:


bottom of page