Greyhound Trust South Lakes
Charity numbers:  269668 & SCO4404

Fostering and Homing Greyhounds in Cumbria and the South Lakes

This website covers all the Greyhounds coming to the branch from 1st January 2018. To see the 500+ Greyhounds homed between July 2004 and December 2017 visit

Fireworks and Thunder Anxieties

We are not experts, but having had greyhounds for many years and been homing greyhounds since July 2004 we can draw on the training we received during that time along with our experiences in order to help others.  What is written here is a new revision of my book 'Caring For My Rescued Greyhound'.  It's a guide only because every incident and dog is different.  Jenny Stott

(The term him also refers to her)

Back to the list of tips:

A Few Firework and Thunder Storm Tips

When a dog in the wild feels anxious or frightened it will find a cave, crevise in the ground or a thick bush to back into.  In doing so the only area they need to watch is the space in front of them and the confined space makes them feel safe.

This is what we must emulate in the home to help our pet. I know we are there to look out for them and we know there is nothing to be anxious about, but instinct tells them otherwise.

This time of year can be quite traumatic for some dog owners and their dogs, but need not be.  By following some simple steps your dog need not find it difficult or frightening.

1.   Dedicate a special place in your home where he can get away from the sounds he hates.  This can either be a small room with as few windows as possible and where you can close the curtains or, if you use a crate simply cover it over with a blanket so he doesn't see the flashes of the fireworks as they explode or the lightning flashes.

2.   When you have a nervous dog anyway it's often best to use a crate in the home if you have the space and using it as one of his beds.  This is ideal because it's always there for him to use should he feel the need to be somewhere 'safe'.

3.   Ensure his hideout has plenty of blankets or a duvet for him to dig and burrow into.

4.   As soon as the fireworks begin or the thunder and lightening starts lead him to his safe place or crate.

5.   Take him to this special place two or three times a day in the run up to firework night, so he knows it's his safe place to go.  This is why having a crate available all the time is a good idea for a nervous or anxious dog because it's a natural place for him to go and you can throw a blanket over the top to make him a 'cave' if you think he needs the additional feeling of enclosed space.

6.   If you feel a storm is coming or you know when the fireworks will be going off it's a good idea to let him empty his bladder because it's not safe to take him out when the storm is here or the fireworks begun.  This will make him feel more comfortable and he is less likely to have an accident.

7.   Play moderately loud rythmic music to mask the sounds.

8.   Give him a good stodgy carbohydrate-rich meal in the late afternoon of the firework display to help him feel calm and sleepy as the night draws in.  Use pasta, mashed potato or overcooked rice.

9.   There are various non-veterinary remedies available to calm him down.  If your vet has given you medication to help, ensure you follow the prescription precisely.

10.  If your dog is really terrified of loud noises, you could try plugging his ears to muffle the sound or get him as used to the loud bangs as early as possible.  There are many CDs available designed to help get used to the noises, which can be purchased in most pet shops or on-line.

It's very tempting to try to soothe your dog to relieve his fears.  This is the worst thing you can do as it gives him the impression there is something to be frightened of.  Ignore him when he's looking frightened, act as if everything is perfectly normal and only show attention once he'sstarted to relax.