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Ask the Experts: Fireworks Advice for Dog Owners
Q: My dog is incredibly distressed by the sound of fireworks, what should I do in the build-up Bonfire Night?
Fireworks night is great fun for humans, but not so great for dogs who can find it a very stressful time of year. 46%* of dogs, approximately 8.6 million, are afraid of fireworks.
Vet’s Klinic’s leading canine behaviour specialist, Jez Rose, is encouraging dog owners to be aware of the negative effect that fireworks can have on their pets and to consider ways they can help make this time of year less traumatic for their canine companions.
Dogs can get extremely distressed around fireworks night. The bangs and flashes can unsettle them so it’s important to understand how you can help to calm them down. There are a number of things you can do to help them feel safe and relaxed and minimise the disruption, both for your pet and your household.”
Walk your Dog During Daylight Hours
Leading up to bonfire night, walk your dog during daylight hours when fireworks are less likely to be let off. Start the routine a week or more before fireworks season so that your dog becomes used to this change in routine.
Provide a Den or Hiding Place Where your Dog Can Feel Safe
It may mean moving their bed beneath a table, or providing a cardboard box with blankets and toys as some dogs feel more secure in enclosed spaces. Make sure that their bed is away from windows and doors to ensure they are as far as way as possible from where the noise is loudest and close the curtains so they can’t see flashes of light.
Try to remain calm yourself so as not to unnerve your dog and feed them tasty treats during any loud noises so that your dog will begin to associate the noises with positive things. Classical music has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in both humans and dogs so turn up the volume on some nice, soothing classical music to help soothe and drown out the loud bangs.
If you require further help, Vet's Kinic's behavioural expert, Jez Rose is offering discounted consultations in the run up to bonfire night. For more information visit www.vetsklinic.co.uk or call 01793 876 619.
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