Firework Night

Be Prepared!

 

Every year, millions of dogs suffer due to fears or phobias triggered by fireworks. So what can we do to help our puppies and dogs? I'm a believer in preparing early, so that you have things in place to provide comfort to your puppy and dog so that they are better able to cope with the noisy fireworks.

 

A few weeks prior to bonfire night:

 

  • Safe Den

    • Prepare a 'den' area in the home, something like a cage covered by a blanket, situated in a quiet part of the home, away from the windows would be a good idea to have introduced your puppy to in advance.

    • This should be somewhere where your dog feels safe and secure and never forced to go in there.

    • You could feed your puppy in its den, getting them used to enrichment toys such as Kongs, give them tasty chews in there as the act of chewing can be relieving for some puppies.

    • Some puppies and dogs get very frightened when there are fireworks going on outside and would appreciate having a safe place to hide in.

 

  • Desensitizing CD's

    • Some people have said that  desensitizing CDs, such as the 'CLIX Noises and Sounds' have been useful in the build up to bonfire night.

    • These can be played daily at a very very low volume initially, and as your puppy becomes more accustomed to the noises, they can be gradually increased so that your puppy is more comfortable with various noises.

 

  • Tablets and Compounds

    • I use Skullcap and Valerian tablets, from the beginning of October with one of my rescue dogs who is sound sensitive and this long with the organic Valerian Compound on the ' night' seems to have a calming effect on my boy.

 

  • Food Supplements

    • Available from your vet is a food supplement called Zylkene which is made from the protein found in milk and the active ingredient is a peptide, which has a calming effect.

    • Adaptil, (previously called DAP), products use a synthetic copy of the natural canine appeasing pheromone of the nursing bitch, sensed by dogs but not humans which is said to also comfort puppies and adult dogs in times of stress, and is available in a collar, a spray and a plug in diffuser.

 

  • Body Wrap Clothing

    • There are different types of wraps which can be purchased such as The Anxiety Wrap, Thundershirt and Mekuti Touch body wrap which use the sense of touch to help reduce anxiety and fear without pills.

 

There are many other products available, speak to friends, ask at dog training classes, ask your vets to see what they recommend but remember, early preparation is essential, especially for a puppy who has never experienced fireworks before. Let's try to prevent the fear in the first place!

 

On the day:

 

  • Exercise Early

    • Ensure you puppy/dog has had adequate exercise before it gets to the evening, so that they are less likely to get spooked by loud noises/sudden light flashes in the sky.

 

  • Shut the Curtains

    • To try and drown out the outside noise and flashes, turn up the volume, on the telly, the radio or even better, purchase a CD specifically for dogs, (ie: Through A Dogs Ear) which is piano music especially  designed to help calm your dog.

 

  • Feed Carbs!

    • Give a stodgy carbohydrate meal an hour before firework time end provide something for your dog to chew on when they are taking place (they may be too worried to eat it, but at least he has the option).

 

  • Allow Safe Den Use

    • If your dog wants to hide, let him, that's why setting up the 'den' in advance is better, as he's already used to his safe place.

 

The Next Day:


Get up earlier the next day to take them for a walk first thing, as they would have missed their evening walk the day before.