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How to calm your dog’s firework fears

Isn’t it a heart-breaking sight to see a terrified dog try to squeeze themselves under furniture or into cupboards in a thunderstorm or during a firework display?  Those of us with sound-sensitive dogs dread the terrors our pets go through every Bonfire Night.

It’s stating the obvious, but we always make sure we’ve fed and walked our dogs long before it gets dark and things start taking off!  That’s tough if you’re at work, and don’t get home until dark, of course.  We even have neighbours who take their doggies to stay with friends out of town away from the big public displays on November 5th.

Here are some ways we have found work with our doggies over the years.  Everyone of them has  different responses, but we do find that as they get older, some of them seem to cope a little better.

Calming coats, jackets or vests really help

We strongly recommend a calming coat.  These go on way before the evening.  Calming coats or vests are a no-brainer win for nervous dogs in all sorts of frightening situations, but on Bonfire Night they are a must in our house.  If everyone is calm, and feels safe, then our more nervous little Bertie Chug is much less likely to get anxious.  We all know how our dogs need stroking for reassurance and c  Dog anxiety coats act like a gentle wrap-around hug, increasing your dog’s sense of well-being.

We’ve chosen the American Kennel Club and vet approved AKC Calming Coat Anti-Anxiety Coat for Dogs. It’s a practical, easy-fit calming jacket that comes in five sizes and three colours. It’s washable and adjustable, and really makes a difference!  You might have tried an old t-shirt or fleece in the past, but believe us, the snug fit of the Calming Coat is well-designed to provide a gentle, whole body pressure that is very effective.

Provide a cosy cave for an anxious dog

You might think the safest place for a frightened dog is your lap, and for little ones, that is probably the case! However, if they do get the fear/flight reaction, it’s much better your dog has somewhere it already feels and knows is safe in the house. A covered crate, or even better, in our experience is a nest-type dog bed like the Snoozer Cozy Cave Dog Bed .  A fearful doggie can bury themselves deep within its comforting fleecy interior, and hide from the scary world! I have these in the living room where I can keep a close eye on any stressed behaviour, and they are definitely a go to place on Bonfire Night for Bertie.

How to calm your dog with music

Have you thought of using music to calm your dog? It’s a strategy used by animal rescue centres who deal with very stressed dogs in noisy environments. Spotify provide a selection of fabulous tracks – Relaxing Music for Dogs: Most Popular Songs for Calming Down Your Dog by Official Pet Care Collection, which aim to calm or distract a frightened pooch. It really makes sense to create a wall of sound inside your house as a barrier between your dog and the outside bangs and explosions. Lots of us turn the TV up, but these tracks have been especially chosen for their impact on dogs’ moods. At worst they’ll help muffle the noise of fireworks, but why not give it a try?  It’s a lovely soothing compilation of 24 tracks and will hopefully see you all relaxed and snuggled up on the sofa! It had me snoozing off after a long day!

Thinking of you all this Bonfire Night! specialises in products which improve the quality of life for dogs and their adoring owners.  If you think we can help with a doggy issue, don’t hesitate to give us a call!


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