Keeping your dog calm on fireworks night requires planning, so here are our top tips ahead of fireworks night.
Take your dog for lovely long walks during daylight hours, so you avoid the chance of encountering the odd firework going off at dusk. Ensure that your dog is wearing his collar with his ID tag and is in a securely fitting collar and halter, should he startle and take flight at a sudden noise. If younger children usually walk your dog, make sure they are strong enough to hold onto your dog if they suddenly attempt to run off. If in doubt, don't allow the children to walk your pet during this time. Dogs can get spooked during and around bonfire night.
Creature Comforts To Keep Your Dog Calm On Fireworks Night
Dogs, like all animals, like to feel safe in their environment. Being in familiar surroundings will help your dog feel relaxed. Close the windows, blinds and curtains and put on the TV or radio ahead of the dusk. Turn the volume up slightly higher than usual so that when the fireworks begin, it won't be as startling for your dog. Giving your dog one of their favourite chews or toys can also be a valuable distraction. A thunder jacket can also help some dogs.
If you have a young dog, you can work on desensitisation with various audio CDs available. These CD's feature a variety of noises, and when played at first at low volume, playing or feeding your puppy can help them become more accustomed to strange noises. Keeping your dog calm during fireworks night might be easier with desensitisation.
There are some great natural calmers on the market, including sprays and plug-in calmers that release dog-friendly pheromones. Our team have used the Pet Remedy spray with much success. Use regularly for a couple of weeks before bonfire night. If your dog is terrified, your vet might suggest prescribing a sedative during this time.
Allow your dog the freedom of your house to roam if anxious. As long as your home is secure and the windows are all shut, your dog might find it easier to cope if he does not feel like he is confined to one room. It can be distressing for you to watch your dog behaving this way but make sure you remain calm and confident, or your dog may become more stressed. Behave as normally as you can around your dog, and it will have a positive calming effect.
*If your dog is very stressed, speak to your vet. They may recommend medication to alleviate anxiety, or recommend trying some desensitisation sessions under the guidance of a dog training expert.
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