Many dog's are scared of fireworks it can be a serious problem and very distressing for the dog and owner. This time of year can be very traumatic for dogs and cats. The loud 'bangs" and flashes of light can cause terrible stress and anxiety. It is the time of year which dog and cat owners dread.
Here is some advice to help you and your pet cope. If left unaddressed even mild firework phobia or fear can become worse over time. Pets can become scared of the slightest sound and have a sudden response.
Signs that your pet has a fear or phobia are-
- trying to escape
- toileting in house
- excessive moulting the hair coat will come out in handfuls
- They must be indoors, secure all doors and windows so they can't escape.
- provide a den, cover the indoor create with a blanket to create a safe haven. Or drape some blankets over a table and put the pets bed under it. Or under the stairs. The 'den" should not be placed near an exterior wall.
- Give them a stuffed Kong to lick. Licking and chewing is a stress relief. They will not want it if they are too frightened.
- Don't shut the door of the crate, the dog needs to feel he/she can escape if they want to, and they may prefer another area in the house.
- If they want to go under the bed or table let them don't try to get them out. Put a bowl of water nearby.
- Some pets like to go in the bathroom. This is because the noise is less in there because there is a only a small window. We might not think it makes a difference but remember dogs hearing is finer than ours they can hear the difference.
- Provide fresh water near to where the pet is hiding. Dog's pant alot when they stressed and need extra water.
- Turn the television or radio up loud to try and drown out some of the noise.
- Don't leave them alone in the house.
- Draw the curtains to shut out the flashes or light. Leave the light on in the room.
Other ways to help-
- Exercise your dog early while it is still light.
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with your name and address on it. The telephone number is good too.
- Get your pet micro chipped, pets that escape from the house can easily become lost in their panic.
- Your pet may be too frightened to got out in the garden the next morning, don't force him/her to go out allow them to go in their own time, keep the pet on a lead.
- Stress hormones can remain in the dog system for days so keep your dog on the lead during walks until you are sure your dog has recovered. Even a car door shutting could cause a dog to bolt.
- Contact your vet if you are at all worried about your pets behavior or if he/she is taking a long time to recover for the fireworks night.
Desensitize your dog to the sound of fireworks by using a sound cd. This can be effective if used correctly and with extreme care. Used incorrectly either to loud or to close to the dog and you cold make matters worse. Contact me for advice.
There are various herbal remedies and over the counter calming tablets, sprays and plug ins that can help. I have used some of these for my dogs and found them very effective. These are sold in pet shops and veterinary practices.
Thunder shirts and comfort jumpers can also help.
Get in touch for more help and advice.
Karen Landon Adip cbm, KCAI (cd)