As we are approaching that time of the year again when we “remember remember the 5th of November” the team at Companion Care Vets offer some handy tips on preparing your pet for the loud bangs and flashes that come with fireworks.
It is important to start thinking about desensitising your dog more than one or two days before fireworks night. Many pets are successfully helped through desensitisation and sound-bites are available that simulate the random and unpredictable noises of fireworks. It should be played in the weeks leading up to the firework season, gradually building up the volume and length of time it is played. Your pet will then gradually become used to the noises and begin to ignore them.
As well as working to desensitise your pet it is also important to ensure there is a safe haven that is away from the main source of noise and able to be darkened to hide flashes. Prepare the area in advance, with lots of comfy blankets to allow your pet to burrow.
Take your pet to this area several times before the event, giving him the opportunity to settle there with a chew or toy for a while….feed him there a few times too.
Dogs: On the day make sure you take your dog for a walk and allow him to go to the toilet before it is dark and fireworks begin. Feed him in the evening also as this will make him more sleepy and settled in the safe haven.
If your dog begins to show signs of stress, Do NOT try comfort him as this will reward the behaviour, instead try distraction with a game or an easy training session, switch on the TV or radio and try to maintain a normal quiet, family evening as this normal routine may help to calm your dog.
Should desensitisation techniques not work for your dog, you may have tried in past years but not seen any improvement, it is advisable to discuss medication with your veterinarian. In some cases medication is the best solution and ideally this should be started 2-3 weeks before the firework season begins.
If you would like any more advice please give your local veterinary surgery a call where one of our team will be able to help.
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