Helping dogs feel safe on bonfire night
According to the RSPCA, it’s estimated that 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks. After all, can you imagine hearing all of those bangs and cracks without understanding what they are?
Really, it’s amazing the percentage isn’t higher.
In actual fact, though, it needn’t be as high as it is, as there are plenty of easy things that we, as owners, can do to help our best furry friends cope during the bonfire season.
Planning ahead is an important tool, ensuring you have a pre-designated safe and quiet space to which your dog can retreat when stressful events are anticipated. If they know it’s there, and more importantly, they know it’s safe, they’ll find great comfort in having it handy when the Catherine wheels start to fizz. A dog crate with a blanket over the top is a good example, as is making sure that windows and curtains are closed to help muffle the sound. This, combined with music or the TV, will help to minimise the sound of fireworks even more.
The RSPCA suggests training your dog to associate the area with positive experiences, for example by leaving their favourite toys there, but never imposing yourself at any time. During fireworks season, it can be a good idea to encourage your dog to their safe space each evening before the fireworks begin, ensuring they’re equipped with all the toys and treats that they need to hunker down in safety. If you have a puppy, we wholeheartedly recommend a Heart Beat Sheep from Little Buddy, a comforting plush sheep toy with a small device inside that reproduces the vibration of a heartbeat. Designed to reduce separation anxiety and also general anxiety it’s sure to help soothe them during their experiences of fireworks.
Another easy-to-follow tip is to ignore the fireworks yourself. We all know how keenly attuned our four-legged friends are to our own emotions, so if, as owners, we can show that the fireworks have no effect on us, it might just rub off on them, too.
Anxiety Calming Products.
Along with practical planning there are also some fantastic natural products designed to work with your dogs neurological fear responses. YuCalm can be an effective means of reducing stress in dogs and supporting them to become more happy and playful, and it’s especially ideal for pets who are fearful of other dogs, strangers and, of course, fireworks. Lintbells is a UK company dedicated to improving the health of dogs, cats and horses, with a base of products founded on sound nutritional science and focused on high-quality and performance. Its YuCalm range is designed specifically for stressed or anxious dogs, and applies a clever combination of scientifically proven ingredients to support natural, calming pathways in the brain, and in doing so, restore tails to wagging.
Ruff and Tumble Drying Coats aren’t just amazing at drying dogs and keeping your house and car clean they are also fantastic anxiety wraps too. A study published in 2013 showed that 89% of dog owners found that prolonged use of an anxiety wrap actually reduced anxiety levels in their dogs. This means that by using a drying coat, not only will you have a perfect solution to drenched dogs after your wet-weather walks, you could also be helping to reduce their anxiety levels in the run up to firework season.
To put it simply, there’s plenty we can do as owners to help our four-legged companions feel safe during this stressful time of year. Of course, if you’re really worried, then why not give one of our team a call or visit our website to check out our especially curated collection? As dog owners ourselves, we know precisely where you’re coming from! We’re always happy to help out, and you’d be amazed at the tips and tricks we’ve picked up over the years.