As Bonfire Night approaches, many people will hosting parties or attending public fireworks events allowing us to enjoy fun, colourful and exciting displays amidst a crisp Autumnal evening. Many of our canine friends however sadly do not enjoy the festivities brought by this yearly event.
So in our latest blog Scientific Nutritional Products urges dog owners to think ahead about minimising the potential distress this bold, noisy occasional can have on our four-legged friends.
Scientific Nutritional Products’ Top 10 Do’s and Don’t of Canine Fireworks Management
1.) Do: Distract your dog from the noise of fireworks by having other noises in place such as the TV or the radio. You can also draw your curtains, helping to create a safe, warm environment and to avoid any sudden bright lights for firework displays flooding the living room!
2.) Do: Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to if he or she feels scared. Alternatively, let your dog take refuge under furniture and include an old, unwashed piece of clothing so that your dog can smell your scent and feel comfortable. Don’t try and tempt them out if they have found a comfy spot- remember the old saying… ‘let sleeping dogs lie’?
3.) Don’t: Never take your dog to a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper at the event you cannot simply assume they are content at the event. Behaviours such as excessive yawning and panting can also indicate that your dog is stressed and the risk of them becoming scared and bolting at the event is far too great.
4.) Don’t: Tell your dog off! They do not understand the noise and bangs and reprimanding them for their natural behaviour to a phobia will only make your pet more distressed.
5.) Do: Try to act and behave as normal where possible, as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your dog. Reward calm behaviour with treats or their favourite toys.
6.) Don’t: Assume your garden is escape proof. If your dog needs to go outside on evenings when fireworks are likely to occur take him outside on a lead. If your dog is scared they are much more inclined to try and escape and potential injure themselves.
7.) Do: If possible try to acclimatise your canine to the sound of fireworks before the events begin. CDs are available from online retailers which mimic the sound of fireworks and these can be played at low volume to try to desensitise your dog to the ‘bangs’ and ‘whooshes’. Always exercise this method with caution and if it does excessively distress your dog to play the CDS it may not be beneficial.
8.) Don’t: Leave your dog on his own or in a separate room from you. He or she will take comfort from your presence so it is your responsibility to ensure you are available to soothe and calm them where required.
9.) Do: Check where and when displays are being held in your local area and ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning a fireworks event at their home so you can be sure when you need to stay home with your dog.
10.) Do: Consult an animal behaviourist if your canine friend really struggles. Acreddited and experienced dog training instructors may be able to help you!
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