The nights are drawing in and we all know that means that firework season is approaching. This is probably not the favourite event on a dog’s calendar: from their point of view, they’re nasty things going whizz and bang just when you least expect them to. Still, there are some compensations for our pets – it’s a great opportunity to spoil them a little with special treats and getting in a new squeaky toy or a catnip carrot that will keep them busy for a few hours so they don’t notice the noise as much. The Dogs Trust website www.dogstrust.org.uk has a programme to help dogs who have high levels of sensitivity to noise, and this is well worth trying out in the run up to the fireworks season to develop resilience. Another option is using products which help to provide hormonal reassurance for pets over the fireworks period – they work by releasing synthetic pheromones like those given off by the mother in early life. Many owners find supplements/nutraceuticals which aim to reduce the activity of stress receptors very helpful.
Or try an old favourite, turn on the radio and build a den with old duvets and garden cushions which the pets can play hide and seek in or snuggle into with a chewy. Great for turning a difficulty into an opportunity for more play and fun.
Top tip: It is best not to respond to fearful behaviours, such as whining or trembling; avoid giving your pet attention as a result of these- it can reinforce their negative reactions rather than discourage them.
If you need more advice on managing firework fears, please give us a call on 01736 330331.