How to prepare our dogs and pets


Unfortunately fireworks are not restricted to just November 5th and seem to continue for a good two weeks either side of bonfire night. There are now many other occasions that they are used, Hallloween, New Year & Birthdays to name just a few. Other party related objects such as party poppers and balloons can also cause distress if not introduced properly. It is therefore wise to prepare our dogs well in advance.
Don’t forget our cats (Make sure that cat flaps are locked) and other small animals, Rabbits & Guinea pigs, need to be brought inside a shed or utility room, not a garage where the car is kept though, because of the dangers of fumes. When a human being shows fear we are able to talk to them and put an arm around the shoulders to comfort and reassure, If your dog chooses to come to you for comfort, give it to them in bucketfuls. Try to keep the comfort light and lilty.Preparations prior to bonfire night....

1. Desensitise to the noise. Prepare well before November with firework sounds try asking Alexa or the YouTube video below and play it to your dog increasing the volume gradually and treating and playing with your dog when he shows no fear so that he will have a good association with the firework noise.


2. On the night and during the firework period, Make sure your dog is tired, a good walk before dark, and had a good meal. Close the curtains, create a noise, put on the TV, radio or play some music, whatever is normal in your household. This will help to mask the noises outside. Never take your dog to Firework displays and avoid taking out when fireworks are going off if at all possible. If you should get caught out then just dismiss it with a happy cheerful voice and make your way home. Make sure your dog is on a lead and has an ID tag and is micro chipped, just in case. Always accompany them in the garden.

3. Have a place for your dog to hide, maybe a cage with a blanket over or behind a chair or settee. Wherever your dog chooses to go however odd, leave him be, don’t try to coax him out, just make him comfortable with his favourite bed and toys, provide an item of your clothing with your scent on it, and make sure his water is available. If he does come out, then you can give him praise. If your dog comes to you for reassurance, stay calm, a hand on the collar is enough sometimes.

4. Give your dog a special treat, a favourite chew, a Kong toy filled with favourite treats, this should keep him occupied for ages. It is a good idea to get your dog used to having this treat at night well before bonfire night, but don't be surprised if this is refused, stressed dogs usually will not eat.

5. If your dog needs to relieve him self, go outside with him, if he is not confined to a safe fenced area then put him on a lead.

6. Distraction is good, you can have a play session; make the time a fun one so that your dog associates the bangs with a good time.

7. There are various products on the market, such as the DAP diffuser, spray or collars, this releases the natural hormone, pheromone, this is normally produced by lactating females which promotes a sense of well being and reassurance. Also natural remedies such as Skullcap & Valerian and Bach Rescue Remedy. The best results will be attained when used in conjunction with a good behavioural programme.
These can be purchased at the Vets, on line or at some Health Food Stores, if concerned then please consult with your Vet before using these products. Please see your vet for extra help if you feel that your dog is still extremely stressed, there are various products available from your vet, such as Zylkene and Clomicalm. 8. The Thundershirt is an excellent product designed to relieve stress, Thundershirt’s gentle pressure works to calm a dog, experts such as Dr. Temple Grandin believe that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system. Using pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years. Or try a tight fitting t-shirt or home made body wrap with wide stretch bandages.

8. The most important thing is that you remain calm and show no fearful reaction to the fireworks, if your dog comes to you for reassurance show him that you are not worried. Just let him settle where he feels happier. Most dogs will relax when massaged gently.Once your dog has settled and is calm and relaxed reward well with simple praise or treats. I find that if I laugh and say things like "Oooh! Awwww! that's a lovely firework" and stay bright and nonchalant then my dogs accept them well.On walks keep your dog on a lead during firework season if you think he/she may take fright. Make sure he has a collar and ID tag and update microchip just in case.

Stay safe!


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