Now is a good time to start thinking about how you can help your dog if he or she is scared of fireworks, or maybe you don't know yet and want to be prepared.
Allow your dog to find a safe space around your home, if your dog is happy in his crate, that’s a good place to start. If it’s under the sofa, so be it. Dogs like small spaces. Make sure his den smells of you, you can sleep with a few small blankets in your bed for a few nights, and then leave them in the crate (or under the sofa) so it smells comforting.
Let him come out when he is ready, you can then praise him.
Go for walks before dusk, when you know there won’t be any fireworks. Also make sure you give your dog plenty of exercise on that day so he is tired and more relaxed in the evening.
During fireworks (or just before it starts) try to engage your dog in fun activities, such as Training, Food Games, or Tug-of-War so he his distracted.
Try to stay happy and cheerful, your dog can pick up on your emotions. Stay calm, and reward your dog for staying calm too. Try to keep him into a calm state, instead of trying to reassure him once he’s become anxious.
You can close the curtains to cover the lights, and leave the telly or the radio on to cover the noise. If you are going to be doing this, start leaving the radio on for a few weeks before the dreaded night, so your dog gets used to it and only finds this new sound relaxing.
Make sure your dog is wearing an updated name tag and is microchipped, some dogs will try to escape when they are scared, so make sure he can be identified and returned to you should this happen.
You could try to desensitise your dog to noises prior to the firework period, and you can find noise CDs that could help, but be careful if your dog is severely scared of firework, sound CDs could make the matter worst. Best to get help from a professional.
Start any training programme many months before the firework season begins. (Call me if you need any help with this)
Don’t leave your dog home alone, or in a different room from the one you’re in.
Don’t bring him to a firework display, he might not sound stressed, but remember to check other signs of stress.
Don’t punish your dog for being nervous or anxious.
Don’t assume your house is escape proof.
Finally, and maybe most importantly do not force your dog to face his fear. This might work for some humans; it does not work with dogs. You will probably make things worst.