Living in a 4 dog household, it’s now massively important that all our dogs are comfortable and settled, and with the 5th of November just a few days away we will soon find out if our new pup has a fondness for fireworks like the rest of her pack.
We are so lucky that our older dogs, Holly (10) Taylor (9) and Teebo (3), all seem to be totally chilled with fireworks and the girls actually enjoy sitting in our conservatory watching the sky light up on both Fireworks night and Hogmanay. However approximately 50% of dogs are terrified of fireworks - so I have pulled together a list of recommendations to comfort and try to relax your dog on this potentially awful evening.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day. - Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship.
- Never take your dogs to a fireworks display, even if they are like my dogs and seem to enjoy them, they are busy, with few escape routes, a hectic end and it is never a good idea. - Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. (I know of a dog who climbs in the bathtub during thunder and lightening.) If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option. - If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed. Covering the crate or lowering the blinds can also be helpful.
- Removing visual stimulation can also help calm dogs.
- Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. If your dog gets a fright and bolts at least you will be easily reunited.
- If you have to go out, leave your dog a distraction - frozen kong, the radio and treat based puzzles will keep them amused.
- There are various special products ; thunder coats, sensory relaxants, pheromone dispensers to name a few, which will work for some dogs - but not every dog will be relaxed or indeed ‘cured’ by these remedies.
Bottom line is, keep them safe and make them feel as secure as possible. If they want to hide away - let them!! Don’t mollycoddle them, or make too much fuss, as this can further develop and heighten their fear.
I will be assuming our pup will be scared and give her space and if she climbs up for a cuddle I’ll give her one, however she might follow the pack and watch from the window!!