Fireworks night is one of the nights dreaded by most pet owners, causing anxiety and restlessness in dogs across the nation. Preparation is key in ensuring you do all you can to help comfort your dog as much as possible.
Leon Towers is a qualified dog behaviourist and psychologist who has recently joined ranks with Wilsons Pet Food as an ambassador. Here he gives his top tips for doing all you can to help keep your dog safe during fireworks season.
Create a den for you and your dog to sleep in during fireworks. You could build this around an existing sleeping area such as your bed. This will immediately calm your dog AND you during what can be a very stressful time! Think of how much fun it would be to have a proper sleepover with your dog!
PEACE & QUIET
There is lots of advice which tells us to close the curtains and then to turn the television up louder, putting on the main lights and maybe even having a radio playing in the background. These are the very things which can cause your dog to have a sensory overload and can even lead to seizures! We need to create a peaceful and calm environment with low lighting and minimum noise. YOU are the comfort that your dog needs during this time, so cuddle up, candles on and maybe some low volume classical music to calm and soothe you both
There are weighted jackets specifically designed to help ‘ground’ nervous dogs. Wrapping one of these around your dog for them to wear during firework season can make all the difference!
Leon's Top Tip:
If you have a noise sensitive dog, always check with the vet if your dog has got an ear infection. Check there’s nothing in his ear canal or a yeast infection in his ears. They are very common in dogs and can increase noise sensitivity.
Don't forget your dog's favourite Wilsons food
Ensure your dog isn't out of their routine with meals and you can even provide them with extra helpings of boredom busters!
Simply add a little warm water to your dog's favourite cold pressed and mix up into a paste. You can then add to licki mats or kongs to help keep them preoccupied during the loudest parts of the evenings.
You can even pop in the freezer beforehand to help make them last a little longer.
You can even do this with raw frozen food too! Just remember to make sure you wash up all utensils afterwards as you would with any kind of raw food