Every pet parent will be wondering at this time of year: How can I help my dog to stay calm during fireworks night? Loud noises and flashing lights of fireworks can be very frightening for our dogs, but there are things you can do to minimise their stress.
Here are Dogrobes' resident vet's top 10 tips to help you:
1. Prepare your dog's den
Your dog’s crate is their own safe space. If you do not have one, we recommend preparing one a few days before firework season as this will help reduce noise stress and anxiety. Their crate should be a quiet area, away from the hustle and bustle of the family. Cover this in heavy material to dampen noise and provide lots of blankets to burrow in. Train your dog to associate the area with positive experiences by leaving their favourite blanket, treats and toys there. When fireworks go off, they can choose to go to their crate, knowing it is their own little sanctuary.
2. Use positive pressure with the dog robe belt
Gentle pressure around a dog’s chest acts like soothing swaddling. Dogrobes can be used as such a comfort coat. By wrapping the Dogrobe closely around your dog’s torso, creating a constant but gentle pressure, it produces an overall calming effect. This Dogrobe can remain on for up to 2-3 hours. The Dogrobes Snood can also be used over your dog's ears to muffle noise and provide that comforting soft pressure around the head.
3. Try rescue remedies and calming sprays
Sprays, diffusers and drops containing natural oils or pheromones help to reduce anxiety by working with the body’s own messaging systems. The Pet Remedy calming spray gets to work instantly, using valerian absolute and other essential oils which work with your dog's own natural calming mechanism.
4. ID please!
Loud fireworks frightening your dogs and frequent answering of front doors, see more pets lost during bonfire season than any other. Make sure they are wearing their collar with a tag. And if you have recently moved house, ensure you update your microchip details with Pet Log.
5. Go for daytime walks
If your dog is usually walked in the evening, consider changing the time of the walk to earlier in the day to avoid loud fireworks or the rush of trick or treaters, who may scare your dog.
6. Attraction distraction
To reduce the impact of the sudden sound of fireworks, keep a radio or television on. Also consider giving your dog something to play with or chew.
7. Act normally
Dogs are very perceptive and will sense any odd behaviour. Remain calm and cheerful but not overly fussy, and this will send positive signals to your dog.
8. Keep the chocolate to yourself, guilt-free
All forms of chocolate, especially baking or dark chocolate, can be dangerous for dogs. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Sweets containing the artificial sweetener xylitol are also poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and loss of coordination and seizures.
9. Leave the pumpkin to the latte
Be careful not to keep lit pumpkins around pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire. Although they are nontoxic, if large quantities of pumpkin or their seeds are eaten, they can cause tummy upsets.
10. Remember, remember - bonfires
Bonfires are dangerous to wild animals such as hedgehogs because a pile of leaves under wood is an attractive nesting place. Build a bonfire as near as possible to the time of lighting and disturb the bonfire, preferably by moving it, before lighting and check carefully for animals hiding inside.
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