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HELPING YOUR DOG COPE DURING FIREWORKS

You know your dog is scared of fireworks...so what can you do to help? 1. Build a den – sensitive dogs may enjoy the calm feeling of being able to go somewhere small and dark. Cover a table or crate with blankets, leaving only a small entrance hole so they can go underneath or inside. Put this behind the furniture or under the stairs, or somewhere where your dog would naturally go when afraid. Teach them to use it in advance by encouraging them to go there to rest and often putting chews and tasty treats in there for them to find. 2. Homeopathic support - use Rescue Remedy or Valarium available from most supermarkets or health food shops! Try a plug in Calm Home Diffuser like 'Adaptil', which is available from vets and most pet shops. It will diffuse a comforting pheromone into the room to promote a feeling of safety that your dog will really appreciate. 3. Keep them away from the ‘bang’: Keep your dog inside when it goes dark. Walk them earlier in the day while it is still light. Close all curtains, windows and doors. Turn on the radio/TV loud enough to mask the noise. Create a ‘happy’ atmosphere by being relaxed, playing games, offering treats and avoiding getting cross with your dog. 4. Stay around - try not to leave your dog home alone this will only increase their feeling of unease. 5. Walk them earlier - you are much less likely to be around any surprise fireworks 6. Be supportive – if your dog gets worried by a bang and comes to you for support, offer genuine affection without being too sympathetic. Keep the mood light and be fun and light-hearted rather than showing too much concern that may communicate that you are worried too. As soon as your dog has calmed a little, try to distract them into an easy game with a toy or into using their nose to find a treat. 7. Ensure they are microchipped and wearing an ID tag - in case they escape from the house or run off on a walk. If your dog’s fear of fireworks is worsening they will need a long-term behaviour modification plan. This should be carried out with the advice and support with one of our Barking Mad DTC qualified animal behaviourists. XxRich

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