At time of writing it is clearly a time we see a lot of fireworks here in England. Bonfire night, a time to remember that one guy who got caught trying to blow up the houses of parliament, and was subsequently burned alive for treason. Fun times. But those not of England don’t celibate this but may have their own celebrations, like USA’s Independence Day or Mexico’s Day of the Dead. And of course we all have New Year Eve celebrations.
So during these festivities, those most entertaining of attractions are used, Fireworks! We love a good firework show but we know a lot of dogs are not fans. The loud bangs, the flashing lights, these are all things animals are naturally meant to be scared of. Here are some ideas to help your pooch during any festive time with Fireworks.
There are CD’s you can buy, MP3s to download, I’m pretty sure there is even something on Spotify to stream. Here is something we found on Youtube. It is 8 hours of firework sounds. The idea being if you start playing this weeks before an event with fireworks, the dog will be used to the sounds of explosions and will not be phased by it. Start off playing it on low volume while being in the room with your dog. Then gradually over the following days increase the volume a little at a time. If you can put it on in the background while you watch TV or listen to radio, do this so they get used to it as a background sound. Don’t fuss over your dog if they are fretting. If you fuss over them this will confirm their belief there is something to worry about. So you need to stay calm, if they are not used to it after a few days then halt this treatment.
Location, Location, Location
Contrary to popular belief that crates or cages are bad for dogs, they can actually be a comfort to them. Bring your dogs up to use a create but not as a punishment and they can see the create as a safe place. Place the create away from any windows and more close to the centre of the house, now cover it with a blanket, or duvet if you can, (leaving the door accessible) they can now hide in here from the nasty loud bangs. A duvet will also help muffle the sounds and block out the flashing lights. Make sure to put some toys and treats for your dog in the create (some treats in a Kong toy to keep them focused would be good, and some water water. (if you have any water proof material maybe have that down in case of accidents as they wont want to go out for their business)
Most people, (the sane ones anyway) will set off fireworks at night. It is worth checking around at the times of local organised events or asking neighbours what time they will be setting theirs off.
So in the afternoon before hand take your dog for a good long walk, have lots of play time with them so they will be tired out for the evening. Make sure they go for their business outside before hand, and get their food in their belly as they wont eat later and it will help them fall asleep.
Make sure someone is home with your dog, maybe put on a loud action movie with plenty of explosions.Play some games with your dog to try keep their attention. Remember earlier how we said play the de-sensitising sounds in the back ground to the TV or radio. Here you can put the radio on nice and loud and try to drown out the fireworks, they will be just background noise.
You will want to start distracting the dog before the fireworks start as if you do this as they start it might be to late to grab their attention. It is harder to calm a dog down than stop them from getting worked up.
Meds and Herbs
We can not comment on how effective any of these treatments are, we only know that they do exist and your experience may vary.
Your vet will be able to prescribe some calming tablets for the dog, as well there are some over the counter options for them too.
Honestly we would suggest this as a last result and, having an over excited dog at home ourselves have tried many over the counter solutions with no noticeable effect, but your experience may vary.
If you think of any more please do share them with us and we can add them to the page. We all want what is best for all the floofs of the world so more help the better.
Published : 03/11/18
Information From : Own knowledge from over the years. Local Vets
Author : Bob Dent