Are bangs out of order or do you wonder what the fuss is about?

Do you dread firework season or have you got it completely sorted?
What lengths do you have go to in order to keep sane?
Have you found anything that has really helped your dogs cope?
Many years ago we heard that someone was developing some fantastic new doggie ear plugs that really would take the bangs away. But we've not heard another peep from them since that initial call. 
And we even got to try out some amazing doggie headsets from America developed for dogs that were frequent flyers. Our Christine in accounts took them home and as she still takes most of November off to go to the most remote place possible, that doesn't seem to have completely solved her firework phobias! Or maybe it's just that there aren't enough headsets for all her brood?
How bad is your dog's firework fears?
What's the worst experience you've had?
The other day we heard of a vet that shuts up shop so he can can holiday on a remote island with his dogs as they get so stressed, if even a vet can't sort this out, what hope is there?
Our Karen Redpath is working on a feature and would love to hear your firework experiences.
Please email Karen directly or leave a comment here.
Her email is 


I Have 13 dogs and Diwali season in India is crazy with them. Big festival for us here. And indians love fireworks. Any excuse will do. Some of the dogs are petrified and some go nuts and start barking out of control when the fireworks start. I do the ear plugs but it isn't enough as the fireworks time lasts for a few days here.
This is what I do :
1) Plug their ears with a piece of cotton dipped in a little oil (stays firmly plugged in the ear)
2) Move them to the furthest corner of the house where the sound is at its mutest best
3) All my dogs are crate trained from day 1. And I notice that when they are stressed they look for their crate. So before the madness starts I put them in the crate so they have time to settle in beforehand itself.
4) Feed them early way before the fireworks kick off so they are comfortable. Once the fireworks start they are not going to eat at all.

Since this is almost a week's activity in India we have to go through quite a bit. So of course the best way is also to ensure that they are exposed to the fireworks bit by bit right from the time they are puppies so it doesn't come as too much of a shock.
But all said and done it is an extremely stressful time for the dogs.
penny said…
I realise people love fireworks BUT couldn't there be stiffer penalties on letting them off when and where at any time of day or night - this new law just isn't working. It's just not animals that suffer people do too. I've had a fireworks thrown at my car and once someone put the most biggest firework on a pavement near to traffic and set it off - this surely is stupid to say the least.
Anonymous said…
I would whole heartedly agree with what Preeti has to say. Diwali time is a maddening time for animals especially dogs. Even elderly, sick and others who do not like such deafening noise have trouble. I am myself an Indian living in New Delhi having 4 dogs and do the same during the Diwali season. Feed them early and make cozy places for them to hide during the evening time. Inspite of this it is quiet difficult and noise certainly cannot be totally filtered out unless you have a sound proof house. Another practical problem is they don't want to eat their food earlier during the day time, as they are not hungry. So cracker season is really hell for the dogs. I guess the only thing that can work is to altogether ban and stop the manufacture of dangerous and high decible fire crackers and enforce the time law and other laws. Stiffer penalties, definitely yes.
HI Beverley
Last year a few of us behaviourists from twitter set up which gives a free advice booklet and an mp3 file for owners to accustom their dogs to the bangs and crashes. We ask for voluntary donation to Dogs Trust for anyone choosing to download which can be done on the site. I will copy this as an email to Karen too. The more dogs and owners we can help the better.

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