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Merseyside animal nutrition experts PetExx have got some valuable advice for pet parents to help them and their pooches survive bonfire night with as little stress as possible.
Dogs fear fireworks for a variety of reasons and it can start at any point in their life. So if you had a puppy more than willing to walk along the road during noisy nights, your senior pet might not be as happy to do so.
It could be that a dog who wasn’t afraid of the noise in the past suddenly finds themselves outdoors in the middle of a huge and unexpected display of fireworks nearby causing them immense canine stress.
Or, maybe your dog is getting older and could be starting to suffer with arthritis, which can make them more sensitive to loud noises.
Dogs that are generally timid are more likely to fear fireworks. Or a stressful life experience, like being rehomed, might suddenly cause them to become more sensitive around loud noises.
Whatever the reason, fireworks can be a cause of stress for both dogs and their owners.
There are lots of practical actions you can take to ease your stressed-out dog…
You should let your dog pick a place in the home where they feel safe and secure during fireworks season. If they have a crate or a bed, then make sure it is clean and comfortable. Consider placing a blanket over the top of their crate or even push their bed under a coffee table to give the feel of a den. If they have a favourite toy, make sure it’s available to them, especially if they are going to be home alone.
There are lots of coats, jumpers and blankets you can put on your dog or wrap around them to create a feeling of security. Try them out in advance in the build up to the peak nights for fireworks season. Not all dogs enjoy this technique, but the feeling of being wrapped up can give your pooch a real sense of security. Burrowing under their favourite blanket can give a similar sense of security. But don’t put the blanket over them, leave a pile of their favourite blankets available, or an item of your clothing, and let them dig in and feel safe during noisy fireworks nights.
This tip is probably easier said than done but it’s crucial you do all you can to stay calm if your dog is frightened of fireworks. If you become stressed at the first sound of a banger, they will feed off your stress and become more unsettled and frightened. Create a sense of calm, play some quiet background music, close the curtains and cuddle up with your pooch to block out the noise outside while remaining
There are several natural supplements that can help calm our pets. PetExx Stress Less contains Valerian, which is a herb renowned for its mildly sedative and anti-anxiety properties. Another ingredient is L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps the body make proteins and certain brain-signalling chemicals. Your pet’s body will convert L-tryptophan into a brain chemical called serotonin that helps control mood and sleep, so will help induce a feeling of calm.
Stress Less also contains Theanine, another amino acid commonly found in tea that is renowned for its stress reducing properties by helping stimulate calming brain chemicals.
It is crucial you plan in advance if you have a dog that is scared of fireworks. Start scoping out the safe space and trying out calming techniques and clothing. Introduce dietary supplements gradually.
If your dog has a severe fear of noise or a reactive nature, it might be you will need to consider some extra help from a trainer or animal behaviourist.
The most important thing of all is to remain calm and patient. Dogs have no idea what fireworks are or why they are being subjected to the noise and disruption they bring to their lives. Be kind, patient and try out our tips. Hopefully you can help your dog with their fear of fireworks.
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