Firework season will be upon us before we know it. Nov 5th Diwali...Nov 7th New Years Eve Plus all the weekends inbetween , if last year is anything to go by.
Some dogs get really worried by the noise, smells & flashes.... but with a little preparation & effort on your part, it can be a lot easier for them. If you have a puppy, or young dog, with no prior experience of fireworks, you have a blank canvas with which to work. Your dog can be taught that fireworks are a positive, rewarding thing !!!
Firstly.....prepare. Ensure your dog is walked before dusk. Draw the curtains earlier. Raise the volume on TV's & radios slightly. Pop the heating up a wee bit higher. Feed a meal higher in carbs....it has the effect of us eating a heavy meal & just wanting to snooze. (Sweet potato is ideal for this, boiled & mashed, it's a natural calmer) Try & keep everything as normal as possible.
Whenever I have a pup or young dog, at the 1st sound of fireworks I start a training session indoors, loads of treats, lots of praise, doing things the dog knows well (this isn't the time to try & teach a new behaviour)
If your dog stops & listens, that's completely normal (Don't forget their hearing is incredibly sensitive) If they want to run off & hide, let them. If they want to go outside & watch, let them, as long as it's safe for them & they are free to come back in (Go outside with them)
All dogs react differently !!
Older dogs that may have been ok all their lives, can react as they get older. It's because of changes in their hearing. They lose mid range ability & only hear really high, or really low sounds (Making fireworks & thunderstorms more audible.)
The following link has a Dogs & FIreworks guide, plus a free MP3 of fireworks sounds, which you can use to accustom your dog to the noises before the firework season starts. http://www.dogsandfireworks.com/