Tomorrow is the day so many dog owners dread. Loud noises from fireworks can make for a miserable night for the whole family. Here are some survival tips to help you make it through those fraught anxious periods with your dog.
Contact your local council and ask for details of local displays so that you can make arrangements to help your dog deal with the loud noises. You can ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning any firework celebrations of their own. If you know this information you can prepare better for the outcome and help your dog cope.
As always during stressful experiences, make sure your dog has a quiet place he can retreat to if that’s what he needs to do during the fireworks. Make sure the area is comfy, with extra blankets for him to burrow in, a selection of his favourite treats, and most loved toys to comfort him.
Turn up the T.V…
Whatever it is you want to watch, turn it up! On the night of all the noise draw the curtains, close the doors, turn up the surround sound on the TV, turn up the sound on all the TVs if necessary and the radio, and anything else you can think of that will inhibit your dogs ability to hear the fireworks. Being aware of where the fireworks are can also be beneficial. If they are at the back of the house, move to a room in the front with your dog and vice versa. This sounds simple but can really help with reducing the noise.
Try not to make a big fuss of your dog if he displays signs of anxiety about the noise of fireworks. Fussing over him only reinforces that there is something wrong, so as much as you want to reassure them, pretending the noise is no big deal is really the way to go.
You can try to distract your dog from the noise outside by doing fun things indoors like playing a game with lots of tasty treats and fun toys involved. Turn up some loud music and have fun with your dog. Distractions can work miracles in these cases!
If your dog shows signs of extreme phobia, ask your vet for advice. Your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medication, or suggest that for a couple of weeks before Bonfire Night you use relaxant to help them cope. Alternately, there are several natural remedies that are safe for dogs to take like the Bach Rescue Remedy for Pets.
The more exercise your dog gets, the less energy they will have to be anxious. Schedule your last walk of the day at dusk, well before the fireworks are due to start so that a good majority of his nervous energy has worn off before the firework displays start.