December 13, 2018

We recently ran a Customer Firework Survey that received national press attention. It highlighted the fact that nearly 70% of you find that fireworks are distressing for your pet. With New Year’s Eve looming, we share the results from our survey to help you keep your furry friends calm and safe

The festive season is prime-time for fireworks. Your pooch can be subject to bangs and whizzes from the end of October to mid-November and then all over again at Christmas and New Year. Reactions range from mildly scared to completely terrified. It’s awful to see your pet in a panic and many pet owners dread this time of year because of this. We don’t want anyone to dread the festive season and we especially don’t want any pets to feel scared and stressed. Here’s our Customer Firework Survey results and our tips for tackling the problem.

Customer Firework Survey: The Results

Because we’re dog owners and dog lovers, we are used to dealing with pets who are frightened by fireworks, and we’re passionate about protecting dogs and understanding their habits and emotions.

We wanted to get a really good idea of how our customers felt about the way fireworks affect their dogs, so we conducted a survey of people in our Lintbells Club. The overwhelming result of our survey showed that dog owners want to do something to reduce the number of fireworks sold and the times and places they can be used. In fact, our survey showed that 96% of our customers believe the laws around fireworks should change.

There were more than 2,000 respondents to this survey and the headline results revealed that:

  • 69% said their dog is distressed by fireworks.
  • 72% said fireworks season has a negative impact on their family.
  • 63% said that fireworks should only be used by licensed people or events.

You can help by signing the RVN petition for the ban of firework sales, to be replaced with "silent/low-noise fireworks only. But even if we can limit loud fireworks to displays only, and stop people buying them for personal use, it would help our pets greatly.”

Fireworks display

What can we do to help our frightened pets?

We also used the Customer Firework Survey to ask you what you do to help your furry friends stay calm and comfortable. We recommend keeping these ideas in mind, not only in the lead up to New Year’s Eve but throughout the festive season. Here’s how members of the Lintbells Club keep their pets calm and contented during Fireworks:

  1. Close curtains, windows and doors

Keep out as much noise and light as you can. Closing your curtains and windows will muffle the sound of fireworks, and dark or heavy curtains will also help to keep out the flashes of light that can spook your pet.

(This is something that nearly all our surveyed customers do to help keep things calm for their much-loved dogs.)

  1. Turn on the TV or radio

During this year’s busiest bonfire night weekend, radio station Classic FM played an entire programme designed to reduce dog anxiety. Working with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the station chose a playlist of calming classical music, and received hundreds of messages from listeners to say what a great effect it had on their pets. Playing calm music without a loud beat not only blocks out the noise of the fireworks – it also seems to be a natural calming aid for dogs, cats and other nervous pets.

  1. Create a safe space

Your dog’s natural instinct when frightened is to run away, so make sure your outside doors are shut. Keep a couple of internal doors open in your home so that they don’t feel trapped and make sure your pooch has easy access to a safe space. This might be his bed, a crate, a blanket under the table or any other special space in your home. Introduce this space in the weeks before you expect the fireworks to start so that your pet knows it’s somewhere they can de-stress and be safe.

Dog hiding scared

  1. Distract, distract, distract

Whether it’s your pooch’s favourite toys, a handful of treats, a bit of relaxing brushing, or just general cuddling and playing, taking your dog’s mind off what is going on outside can be an effective way of dealing with anxiety.

  1. Give a natural calming aid

Scientifically-proven natural supplements can really help to calm your dog during firework season and all year round. Customers who use our YuCALM Dog range give it a great’ rating on Trustpilot, and have seen how it promotes calmness and reduces anxiety. It’s best to introduce the supplement in advance so your doggy can have the best chance of staying calmer when the fireworks are lit.

  1. Use a plug-in adapter

17% of our respondents also use a plug-in calming adapter for their pet. When managing stress, it’s often a combination of approaches that helps to keep your furry friend as happy as can be.

  1. Administer a sedative

A very small proportion of our respondents use a sedative to help keep their dog calm. This is something we’d recommend you talk to your vet about, to make sure it’s safe and suitable.

Please do contact our friendly advice line on 01462 416866 if you’re worried about your dog’s reaction to New Year fireworks, and to find out more about our YuCALM range and how it can help.

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