Creating calm on Bonfire night.
It is claimed that almost 50% of dogs will be affected by the sounds of fireworks. As a pet owner there are a lot of simple things you can do to lessen the extent of the nervous trauma your hound is enduring. Many of these might be familiar to you, but just in case, here’s a checklist of useful things you can do.
If possible try getting your dog accustomed to hearing fireworks on TV or from a video. Do this starting two weeks before Bonfire night.
Find out the timings of any local displays. Then you’ll be prepared for moment it kicks off. If you start panicking when the fireworks start, so will your dog.
Make sure you do walkies before dark on the day and make the exercise a bit longer so that pooch is ready for a good old sleep at night. Make sure you have an identity tag, just in case some prawn sets off some fireworks before dark while you are walking.
Make a few dens around the house. Quiet cosy places that are a little ‘closed in’ if possible.
Give them food during the day. Loss of appetite is almost certain if they get nervous.
Close all curtains, blinds and doors so that there are no visible signs of fireworks. Turn the TV volume up to a level that doesn’t drive the neighbours crazy. Or put the Radio on and singalong to your favourite tunes. Go the extra mile and treat yourself to a home Karaoke night if it takes your fancy. Don’t be tempted to open any doors while the action is happening outside.
If they haven’t bolted into one of the dens you’ve made, then occupy them. Maybe buy them a new toy to give them on the night. Remember, no self respecting Greyhound should be without a huge Caterpillar. See the Caterpillar (It’s enormous, fun and comforting). Tilly (below) loves hers.
Above all, remember, dogs sense things from us humans. They know when we are sad, they know when things are not right. If you act normally it will help a lot.
There are other things that can help, depending on your dogs natural state of mind. If they are normally well balanced, but thunder or fireworks triggers them into a nervous state, then Pheromones could help. Beaphar CaniComfort contains a copy of the naturally produced Dog Appeasing Pheromone, which is instantly recognisable to dogs. It is naturally produced by the bitch when she nurses her puppies, and gives a continuous and reassuring message to let dogs know that this is a safe and calm area for them to be in.
We had success with a diffuser which we plugged in at lunchtime. Collars can do the same trick.
All of our dogs have suffered high anxiety at the sound of thunder and fireworks. For Maisy, it was the one and only day of the year she would dart upstairs and jump on our bed. Needless to say she could never get back down again, so human had to carry 28kg dog back downstairs.
Be safe, and be prepared this Bonfire night.
Colin and Marie. Totally Greyhound.
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