There’s no denying that people love fireworks. Birthday parties have fireworks, football matches have fireworks, funerals, weddings, and christenings have fireworks, and sometimes after a particularly rough week at the office, if you’re lucky, there are fireworks.
Unfortunately, we can’t predict every celebration. Therefore, let’s focus on the two we can bank on – Bonfire Night and New Year's Eve. Unlike avoiding Halloween costumes, you can’t take your dog inside to escape them as our keen-eared canines can’t escape their noise.
My previous dog, the escape artist husky, could not cope with fireworks. He drooled, panted, paced, and, one time, barged through the garden fence whilst out for a wee. It was absolute chaos, and he was terrified. Unfortunately, we had to medicate Logan with tablets from our vet on the worst nights, like bonfire night, when we knew what was coming.
So, here are our best tips to help distract your besties or simply relax them without medical intervention.
Have you ever noticed that when your dog is stressed, anxious, or suffering from separation anxiety, your favourite wooden items or leather shoes take a beating? Dogs chew because it makes them feel better, as it relieves stress.
Our natural chews are our best-selling products for a good reason. It’s literally in the name – they help with one of the most natural behaviours your dog has – chewing. They vary from rabbit and pig ear treats to cow hooves, lamb legs, and even camel hide and buffalo horn.
There is a huge variety of chews available, all suitable from the standard 12-week-old point and for all shapes and sizes. Don’t be fooled by your dog’s stature – I’ve watched chihuahuas take on a deer leg (and win).
The important thing is knowing your dog personally, so you know what suits them and their chew style. If your dogs are notorious gulpers, avoid the medium-sized chew. You want one too small to cause a problem, or so large your buddy couldn’t possibly swallow it whole.
We use our natural chews for every single buy-some-distraction-time situation. When fireworks are exploding all around – they get a chew. If it’s a no-walk day – they get a chew. When a new series of Stranger Things comes out, and we need to binge it all day – they definitely get a chew.
Head over to our natural chew page and check out our selection. We promise they won’t disappoint!
In our opinion, this is the king of relaxing toys. Have you ever noticed your dog licking its lips, paws, beds, or even your knees when they’re a little bored, stressed, or sleepy? Licking is their natural relaxation technique, and the lickimat helps to replicate that sensation.
Lickimats are small squares of rubber and plastic with raised bumps and different shapes that you can spread any soft treat across, to encourage your dog to lick. The licking motion and the texture against their tongue create a satisfying motion that relaxes your dog.
They come in different shapes and sizes suitable for all types of dogs. You can even get one with a suction cup to help with bath time! Check out our selection of enrichment toys and find one that suits your bestie, best.
So, this may not work for all dogs but, let me tell you, Axl loves a fresh piano tune to wipe out the sound of sky bangs. I won’t lie, Classic FM does wonders for me too. Believe it or not, they do special pet segments on bonfire night with the best tunes to help your pet tune out of the bangs and into some classical bangers. Get it on, get a cuppa, and chill out together.
Nowadays, there are compression shirts made especially for nervous dogs. You can’t leave them on all the time, or that defeats the object. However, the right pressure around them at the right time can help them settle. They work the same way a warm hug or a weighted blanket can help calm you down, and help your dog cope with anxiety.
With the help of the internet, you can make your own compression shirt for your furry friend. Nevertheless, please don’t leave your dog unattended with anything wrapped around them or their necks.
A genius scientist somewhere figured out that you can replicate pheromones that help dogs and cats settle and pop them in a plug-in diffuser. The scent (which isn’t detectable by the human snoot) helps your pets relax. It might not work for everyone but used alongside other tools, and with some good timing, they can certainly help.
Puzzle toys and snuffle mats help your dog channel all the energy they put into anxiety into work instead. Along with a delightful, tasty reward at the end, your dog using their own tools, like their nose, helps their brain focus on something other than panic.