Thursday, 25 October 2018


The next few months can be a tough time for dogs, horses and other domestic animals, with the advent of the firework season.

While most of us enjoy a well organised display, or a small family gathering in the back garden, this can be an extremely anxious time for our four footed (and hooved) friends.

George, my Jack Russell, had no problem with fireworks until we were attending Royal Windsor Show a few years ago. Our caravan was positioned near to the back fence separating the show from the castle. There used to be a huge firework display on the final night of the show from the castle ramparts. This particular year the people in charge thought it would be a better idea to have the fireworks launching from just the other side of the back fence. Not only was the noise deafening, we were showered with cordite and little bits of cardboard – George was terrified as these rockets went whizzing past his face. We beat a hasty retreat back to the caravan and under the duvet, but the damage had been done. From that day forth George didn’t go to another firework display and we have never had one at home. On November the 5th we all sit in and watch the TV, volume turned up, all the lights on, so he can’t hear anything that might be going on in the vicinity. A brand new squeaky toy to play with helps too!

How does your dog cope? Is it even an issue?

There are many things on the market to ‘help’ reduce the anxiety including plug-in diffusers and clothing such as the Thundershirt. It has been suggested that trying to desensitise the animal concerned by playing a CD of the sound of fireworks, gradually getting louder over time so they get ‘used to’ the noise. Brand new to the market is the ‘No Noise Fireworks’ especially made for people with animals who don’t like the loud noises (I’m guessing for children too – I hated the noise of the rockets as a young child!).

I have seen mixed reviews on all these products. Have you tried any? Can you let us all know your experience with these or any other products designed for such occasions?

Here are some tips from the Kennel Club that may help:

1. Acclimatise your dog to noises prior to the big night.
2. Seek help from an experienced animal behaviourist if your pet is severely noise phobic.
3. Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to if he or she feels scared
4. Distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on
5. Try to act and behave as normal, as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour

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Thank you for reading.