Remember, Remember the 5th of November...
Fear of fireworks is a fairly common phobia for dogs; they are loud, bright and can be very scary. There are ways we can try to make these noises less scary and show our dogs that there is something to be excited about rather than nervous.
Addressing the Phobia through Desensitisation
Fireworks night is a dreaded night for some pet owners, we do what we can to provide comfort to our pets during the event and then we try and forget about it until the next year's event, but there are lots of things we can do during the year to accustom them to the noises.
Youtube is a great way to slowly introduce our pets to noises, there are several firework recordings on here. What we want to do is for our pet to associate these noises with something good, rather than something scary. Always start with the noise at a very low volume and reward your pet with lots of treats and cuddles (dependent on what they prefer), also make sure to tell them that they are being a 'very good boy or girl'. This can be done regularly in short stints; for example every other day for 5-10 minutes at a time. When your pet is showing signs of being comfortable with this level of noise we can turn the volume up a little. This is not a process to be rushed, behavioural issues take a very long while to adapt; if your pet is getting very stressed at the new level of noise, go back to the quieter level and make sure they are completely comfortable with this before progressing onto the next noise level. The idea is that eventually we can play the fireworks at a fairly loud volume and your dog will become expectant of his treats, or cuddles as opposed to being scared.
What else can you Do?
A Rural Retreat?
While of course individuals can purchase fireworks and set them off in rural areas; it is a far less common occurrence and when it does happen, the distance between houses tends to ensure that less noise and light reaches the dogs. At The Grange Retreat we are far enough away from all major towns not to be affected by public displays; we also have a dedicated team on site at all times to ensure that all dogs are safe and comfortable. So if you want to join in the celebrations this year why not consider The Grange Retreat where your dogs can rest in peace and comfort.
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