As we head closer to November 5th thoughts are starting to tip towards Bonfire night. With Covid-19 restrictions getting tighter most big displays will be cancelled or limited on how many people will be able to attend. This might mean more private displays at home!
How can I help my dog?
· Prepare you dog as much as possible The Dogs Trust have a free Fireworks sound CD which can help de sensitise your dog to the sound of Fireworks. Start with the volume as low as possible and build it up.
· Build them a den or safe place for them to go in during displays.
· Close your curtains so your dog can’t see the bright flashes.
· Have enrichment toys ready for them to enjoy like: Kongs, K9 connectables, snuffle mats or destruction box.
. Have a DAP plug in or calming scents in the house like Lavender oils or eucalyptus oils.
· Have your T.V on louder than normal – or there are soothing playlists just for dogs on Spotify or other apps.
· Walk them before dark to avoid walking in the evening time.
· If you are really concerned ask your vet for advice on what they would recommend helping them too.
· Ask your neighbours if they are planning on having displays and approximate timings so you know when they are going to be going off.
· For dogs that are really anxious it may be worth taking them in the car to a quieter location if you are in a more built up area.
· If your dog is worried it is OK to reassure them! You cannot reinforce their behaviour as it is an emotion.
· Try to get them to think about something else that they know what to do for example to settle or go to place (anything other than thinking about fireworks).
· Play a game with them for example tug. If you can encourage a game, it will help your dog to relax as when you play with a dog it releases oxytocin which are feel good hormones.
· If your dog likes physical contact it is worth trying a Thunder Shirt or T Touch wrap as they stay close to their body. These should be introduced BEFORE they start becoming anxious, so they are not associated with something scary happening.
There are lots of different things to do to help your dog get through the firework season and does sometimes take a bit of preparation. If you want to ask any questions please contact me for any help and support.