Fireworks Season ahead!!!
Well, one month to go until the most stressful period of the year starts for some of our dogs.
Does you dog or cat get stressed by fireworks?
Signs of stress can be:
Trying to hide under the bed or quiet dark places
Barking (some people may think the dog is excited and likes fireworks but often this isn't the case)
Digging into corners of the room
Trying to avoid going out after dark
Shaking or trembling
Pacing or restless
Not leaving your side
Not being able to eat
Things you can do to help
Go and speak to your vet, there are many options from calming supplements to specific medication for noise phobia that will help your pet cope better with fireworks. Medication alone will not 'fix' the problem and there are other things you can do to make your pet more comfortable.
Provide a safe haven in the home and do not let animals outside when fireworks are going off, your dog or cat may bolt off and get into trouble or get lost. Try to walk somewhere quiet, comfortable and relaxing for your pet during day light hours. Use a room without windows or a crate (If your pet has been desensitised to it) that can be covered is a good option. Playing some classical music to drown out the bangs is also helpful, there has been a piece of music recorded especially for dogs to help during firework season.
Stay with your pet, you cannot reinforce fearful behaviour, leaving your dog will make them more fearful not less so sit with them and give them some comfort.
Try to give some time next year to get your pet used to the noise of firework using a sounds sensitivities cd. I know it is extremely difficult to emulate the level or noise but any attempts to do so would be a good step. Alternatively you can get sound protector head gear for dogs!! they are pricey but maybe worth a shot for your dogs comfort.