Top 10 Tips From A Dog Trainer To Keep Animals Calm During Fireworks
We are approaching the time of year when it seems like fireworks are erupting in our skies every night. Expert DAN SALLISS offers advice on keeping your pet calm in the midst of rockets and noisy firecrackers
With Diwali (the week of November 2) and Bonfire Night (remember, remember, the fifth…) quickly approaching, it is important for us to think about how we can help our dogs stay safe and calm. Anxiety caused by loud noises and detonations from fireworks affects nearly two-thirds of dogs in this country.
Through the Croydon Companion Dog ClubI have worked with many dogs both in the home and in the rescue to ensure they grow into well-behaved and obedient members of the family.
This time of year we see many dogs traumatized by fireworks and also owners traumatized by seeing their dogs in such distress. I have seen dogs die from their reaction to fireworks so it is important for us to educate ourselves as much as possible to make sure we can help our dogs.
Dogs have a natural fight, flight, or freeze response to situations they find difficult or distressing. As owners, we most often see the fight or flight response. Too often I see dogs walking around while fireworks are going off. I can only imagine how they must be feeling.
I want everyone to think about raising our dogs the way we do our kids, with boundaries, praise and helping them feel safe.
If your dog is afraid of fireworks, there is a lot you can do to support him this time of year. Better yet, we can make a plan to desensitize and train your dog to cope better in the future. I’m not saying every dog can be miraculously “cured,” but most dogs can be improved, or at the very least supported, to cope better.
Here are my top 10 tips to help your dogs feel more secure and settle down more easily:
Do not take them for a walk at night
Take them out earlier in the day so they don’t have to walk during the loud bangs and flashes of light that go off randomly around them.
Avoid leaving them in the garden during the fireworks display
This will reduce the risk of leakage through or over a fence or gate. This is one of the most common ways for dogs to get lost during fireworks and Diwali season.
Turn up the TV to muffle the sound of bangs
Pull back your curtains to avoid flashes of light shining through your windows
Provide your dog with a safe space like a crate where he can go and hide
Alternatively, you can create a den somewhere in your house, such as a dining table covered with blankets.
Give them a long lasting chew
Use a baked knuckle bone or beef marrow bone as a special treat that will absorb your dog’s attention, distracting him from what’s going on outside. But make sure they are supervised at all times.
Avoid creating too many stories
Dogs often don’t see things the way we see them. By petting our dogs and giving them a lot of fuss in cases like this, we are telling them that there is nothing wrong with being afraid. Even though we think we are helping them get through this, as owners it is much more beneficial for us to act casually and pretend that there is nothing to fear for our beloved dogs.
Young dogs should have lots of play and fun during this time
With puppies and young dogs, teach them that fireworks are not something to worry about, but that in fact, it means much more rewarding things are happening, like playtime.
Be a caring neighbor
Not everyone has a pet, of course. If you are planning to have a fireworks display in your backyard, please let your neighbors know about your plans so they can plan for their pets. Better yet, go to a curated exhibit and make it a night out.
Natural painkillers and pharmaceutical drugs can also help
It is important that your dog is seen by a veterinarian before giving him any medication.
For more serious cases, you may need to seek help from a behavior consultant – but try not to leave it too late.
Every dog is different and may need a slightly different program which may include desensitization, effective reward, rehabilitation, training verification and other supporting factors like sound therapy discs or on apps. for smartphones, Tellington Ttouch, body wraps, Bach flowers or other homeopathic remedies.
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