How to help your dog cope with fireworks
It seems that firework celebrations start earlier each year! Independence Day celebrations on 4 July (if you’re American), bonfire night celebrations on 5 November (for UK), where we celebrate Guy Fawkes and his ill-fated attempt to blow up Parliament, and if you add in Diwali and New Year’s Eve, the months of November and December can be a stressful and frightening time for many dogs.
However, with careful planning, firework celebrations need not turn into fright night for your dog. I’ve blogged about helping dogs cope with Hallowe’en and fireworks back in 2013, and in the December 2016 edition of Companion Dog World.
Top five tips to help you prepare
If you haven’t had a chance to prepare your dog for coping with fireworks, my handy infographic has the top five actions you can take to help your dog cope:
1. Seek veterinary advice – Don’t leave it too late. Speak to your vet to discuss options to help your dog.
2. Create a den – Provide your dog with a den they can escape to.
3. Walk your dog before dark – Minimise the chance of fireworks disrupting your walk and frightening your dog
4. When the celebrations start – Close windows, curtains, muffle the noise and make sure your dog can’t escape.
5. Don’t be afraid to provide reassurance – Contrary to popular belief, providing reassurance will NOT reinforce fear. The only thing reinforcing your dog’s fear is the continued noise of the fireworks.
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Wishing you and your hounds a fear-free fireworks’ season!