Fireworks And Dogs – Dealing With Anxiety This Bonfire Season

With Bonfire Night becoming a bigger celebration year on year with fireworks displays now stretching out over several weeks, it can be a terribly stressful time for some dogs.

This is the nosiest time of the year in the UK with Halloween costumes, loud bangs and flashes taking over the streets and skies… all of which can make it a highly stressful time for dogs.

All dogs will respond differently and over the years we have tried and tested various remedies to help one of our dogs (Peanut) to minimise her anxieties and wanted to share these with you.

MAKNG YOUR DOG FEEL SAFE (low level anxiety)

  • Create a den for your dog to relax and feel safe in. This could be a crate covered in blankets where they can retreat to if they feel scared
  • Distract your dog by having your TV or radio on loud to help block out the noises from fireworks
  • Close all windows and blinds/curtains to minimise noise and flashes from fireworks
  • Walk your dog before dusk so that they can relieve themselves before fireworks start as you will want to avoid letting them in your garden during neighbouring fireworks displays to prevent them from being suddenly shocked by the noises
  • Avoid over-fussing your dog so as not to reinforce their anxiety. Speak in a normal tone and remain calm and cheerful
  • Distract your dog with long lasting treats such as kongs and bully sticks

TRAINING/DESENSITISING AIDS (mid-level anxiety)

  • ThunderSHIRT Dog Anxiety Vest – these can be a valuable tool for dogs who suffer anxiety – they are designed to exert gentle, constant pressure likened to infant swaddling
  • Adaptil Spray and Plug-in; this dog appeasing pheromone has proven to have a comforting effect on both puppies and adult dogs during stressful situations. Please note that these need to be used for several weeks in the build up to Bonfire Night in order to be effective
  • Many companies offer Sound CD’s to help to desensitise dogs to various noises, including fireworks. These should be used in advance of Bonfire Night to introduce dogs to these noises in a controlled way – play the CD on a low volume and feed treats to your dog as a way to distract them before increasing the volume slightly and repeating the process

HERBAL REMEDIES (high-level anxiety)

  • Dortwest Herbs Scullcap and Valarian Tablets – a herbal remedy to calm and relax dogs who suffer from phobias or apprehension. These do not cause drowsiness or impair normal behaviour or performance
  • Chill Drops – a natural alternative to help calm stressed or anxious dogs containing Valerain Root, Hoodwort, Camomile, Wild Sage and Organic Cider Vinegar
  • CDB Oil – a herbal aid to calm both humans and dogs
  • Rescue Remedy – a herbal aid to calm both humans and dogs

STAY SAFE THIS FIREWORKS SEASON!

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