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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.