It’s that time of the year again and we here at Crazy About The Dog are dreading it! Nala, our ridgeback, is absolutely terrified of fireworks whereas our mutt Poppy is not fussed at all.
Nala stutters her teeth, shivers, climbs on top of me, salivates and at times I feel like she is going to have a heart attack! This is one of those times that I really wish I could speak dog and explain to her that its only silly fireworks and there is nothing to worry about.
But I have done my research and there are a few steps all dog owners can take to help them.
1 Create a hiding place
Nala’s favourite place, other than being on my lap, is in her crate so I will cover it with a few blankets and make it nice and cosy with her favourite toys and fluffy blanket. Remember that you must make sure that the hiding place is easily accessible. However, if your dog chooses to come to you for comfort please don’t ignore them, as they won’t understand your withdrawal.
2 Go for a walk
Make sure that she has a nice long walk in the daytime so she won’t need to go out to do number one or two.
3 Shut up shop
All the windows and doors must be locked and all the curtains drawn so the sound is blocked as much as possible
4 Turn on the TV
Your dog may also find it helpful for you to block out the noise by putting the radio or TV on.
5 Keep calm and carry on
It is important to stay calm around your pup. Dogs are highly sensitive creatures and easily pick up on our emotions. So, try to stay cool, reassuring and make no fuss.
6 Teach the kids
For those people with kids, please tell them to leave the dogs alone as children may irritate them even more and when in stress dogs might overreact.
7 Break them in gently
Also, it is recommended to try and acclimatise your dog to the pops, bangs and whistles before the season begins. You can purchase a noise CD and play it every night starting at a very low volume and increasing it a little each day.
8 Have creature comforts close to hand
Make sure that water is easily accessible and the bowl is always full. Dogs pant a lot and can get dehydrated.
Try and distract your dog with a treat or play with a toy.
What not to do:
1 Try not to leave your dog along
2 Don't force your dog to face its fears
3 Don’t put it in a separate room from you
4 Don’t walk in the dark, which is when fireworks are set off
5 Don’t get annoyed with your dog and tell them off, as this can make her or him more upset!
Find more tips on the Dogs Trust website.
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