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How to help your dog cope with firework season

How to help your dog cope with firework season

Fun for you... Scary for dogs

How do I know if my dog is worried about fireworks?

Sound sensitivities, including fireworks, are very common in dogs and reactions range from mild to extreme. While a certain degree of fear is normal to keep dogs from danger, it becomes distressing for both you and your dog if this fear is extreme.

Signs to look out for include:
  • Ears back 
  • Excessive panting 
  • Drooling 
  • Shaking 
  • Hiding away 
  • Barking excessively 
  • Messing in the house 

Ideally dogs with sound sensitivities need a long-term behaviour modification plan, which includes desensitisation and counterconditioning. For more information, visit This activity needs to be started once firework season is over (ideally February/March). In the short-term, you can help your dog cope with fireworks this season with a few simple steps.

How can I help?

The best way to prepare for fireworks is to think like a dog.

They feel scared as they are alarmed by the loud noises of the fireworks but do not understand that fireworks cannot harm them and feel safer when they have a hiding space.

You can make your dog a ‘safe haven’ or a ‘dog den’. If your dog already has a hiding place then this space can be used making it as snug and secure for your dog as possible by adding blankets or bedding. If you are making your ‘dog den’ from scratch try to do this a few weeks in advance so that your dog knows it is a safe place when fireworks start.

Visit for videos and additional advice on building a den.

Pheromone support

Pheromones are natural chemical ‘signals’, which are secreted by animals to communicate different types of messages to themselves or others.

One pheromone dogs use is called the ‘dog appeasing pheromone’ that a mother produces to reassure her puppies. This pheromone has been proven to not only reassure puppies, but also adult dogs in challenging situations such as fireworks night.

ADAPTIL® is a synthetic copy of this pheromone and studies have shown its efficacy helping dogs with sound sensitivities.

On the night 'Top Tips'

  • Ensure all windows and doors are shut. Close the curtains and turn on the TV or play music to muffle the sound of the fireworks 
  • Consider distracting your dog from the fireworks by giving them a chew, toy or playing a game with them 
  • Use an ADAPTIL® diffuser close to your ‘dog den’ or hiding place 
  • Walk your dog early in the evening when it is still light outside and ensure your dog is micro-chipped 
  • NEVER punish your dog for displaying unwanted behaviour as a result of fireworks going off. This will only make them more distressed.