Some timely advice from Debi Coleman-The Dog Lady
New Year’s Eve fireworks can be a lot of fun for human family members but can be quite frightening for our pets.
The loud explosions of noise and lights in the sky can be literally terrifying for our dogs and other animals.
Symptoms of noise phobias in dogs (from storms , fire crackers and other loud noises) can range from cowering, drooling, pacing and whining to toileting in the house, ripping up bedding or furniture and even vomiting .
Dogs often try to get away from the noise and get lost or injured on New Year’s Eve.
Planning ahead is important.
Ensure your fences and gates are secure to prevent your dog from leaving the property.
Provide a safe quiet place for your dog to hide if he needs to. This could be a comfortable bed in a laundry, under your own bed or in a garage/ shed (if outside). Avoid tying your dog up as this will prevent him from being able to get away from the source of the noise
Consider fitting a Calming Cap, Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap. You may even want to make a T/Touch Wrap yourself: https://www.reshareworthy.com/body-wrap-helps-calm-dogs/ .
Play calming music like ‘Through a Dog’s Ear’ in the background https://icalmpet.com/about/music/
Research the use of natural therapies e.g. rescue Remedy or Adaptil DAP spray for your dog
Have high value treats on hand and try distracting your dog with a puzzle toy or some training games prepared earlier in the day.
Take your dog for a nice long walk before the fireworks start and/or practice fun nose work activities. This will help release ‘feel good’ hormones which reduce stress and help encourage relaxation
Make an appointment to see your Veterinarian for a complete health check if your dog’s behaviour is extreme and/or if you see any changes in behaviour that concern you. Medication can be prescribed to help reduce anxiety in these situations.
Remain calm around your dog and do not punish any fearful behaviour – it is not his choice to be frightened. Patting and cuddling your dog will not make the behaviour worse and will probably make both of you feel better so cuddle away!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2019 is a great year filled with fun, friends, family and dogs!