With Fireworks and Dwali continuing for many weeks from now right up to Christmas and New Year, sadly this can mean suffering for some of our four-legged friends. I am sure you will agree with me there are too many fireworks and they should be confined to organised displays only.
Your dog might be ok and not worried by fireworks but some dogs are terrified.
So what can you do to help your dog during this time if he finds the lights and noises of fireworks scary particularly during the intensity of Guy Fawlks. It can be upsetting for you to see your pet pant or tremble or both.
There are CDs on the market to help your dog to acclimatise to the sounds of fireworks. They start off at low volume which is gradually increased as your pet becomes less sensitive to the noise. One CD is called Sounds Scary but there are others.
If your dog has a crate, you can make it into his den by covering it with a blanket. Make it super-cosy by putting more blankets and cushions inside. Add a good quality chew but only while your dog is supervised. Take puppy to the crate at the first sign of fireworks. Don’t worry if you don’t have a crate, use the space between the sofa and the armchair, under the table or anywhere else suitable. Just make it as comfy/cosy as you can.
Dogs can get scared when they see the flashing lights in the night sky through the window. Close your blinds or draw your curtains. Turn the volume up on the TV or radio.
Some dogs might need some extra help to cope with fireworks. You can buy a calming D.A.P. Diffuser from your vet or Pets at Home for instance. ADAPTIL mimics the “dog appeasing pheromone” released by the mother dog while she is feeding her puppies.
A Thunder Shirt worn by the dog can be calming during fireworks and storms. The shirt touches pressure points on the dog to help make him feel more secure.
Rescue Remedy is herbal and you can buy it from Boots the Chemist.
If you attended my Tellington Touch workshop you can use the therapy to calm and reassure your dog.
To help distract your dog from the fireworks hide some treats and/or toys about the living room and ask him to find them. In this game your dog uses his nose engaging his brain with a naturally calming outcome. Give him a really good chew stick (under supervision) or stuffed Kong to help him as well. Of course if your dog is very stressed he won’t be interested in games or food.
Take your dog out for a good walk about 2pm if you can before the children come out of school and before the fireworks start.
Feed a meal high in carbohydrates like pasta to help him settle.
I hope you find some of these measures helpful. As always if your pet is very stressed do seek the help and advice of your vet.
I had a staffie named Jed who became highly stressed when it was fireworks season. Jed was better if I stayed home with him when there were fireworks. So that is what I did.
I would make sure there was at least one family member at home with Jed to reassure him during his terrible ordeal.
I have been writing to my MP Kate Osamor to promote the idea of fireworks in organised displays only and she has answered my letter stating when Parliament would debate this topic. If your dog is suffering due to fireworks you may want to write to your MP also.
Stay safe until next time