With around 45% of dogs in the UK frightened of fireworks, this can be a really traumatic time of year for our furry friends. Dogs rescued from Romania (like my dog Fozzy), that have had hard lives on the streets, may be particularly frightened of loud noises so it’s something that we need to take seriously. Whilst our tips probably won’t completely cure their fears, I do hope that they will make it less stressful for them (and for you).
In the run up to and on Bonfire Night we take Fozzy for a walk or out in the garden to go to the toilet during daylight hours only. He always has a collar and tag (with our phone number on) and is on a lead just in case the worst happens and he bolts in panic.
If we have to go out when there are likely to be fireworks, then we ask a friend to ‘Fozzy sit’.
Some of our adopters are quite inventive when it comes to calming their dogs, like Kelsey who made a den under a table for Rudi to help him feel safe and secure. For added security maybe include an item of your old clothing.
Once the dogs have found somewhere safe, try not to disturb them unless, of course, they come to you for comfort and reassurance
Other tips to consider include:
Closing the curtains
Turning up the radio or the TV to muffle the sound of the fireworks
All our Romanian rescue dogs arrive in the UK with their ‘own’ classical music that they have learnt to associate with sleep and relaxation during their time at Happy Tails, our rescue centre in Bistrita. As soon as they hear the music it’s like hitting their snooze button and they immediately relax or fall asleep. Might be stretching it though to switch off their fear button on Bonfire Night.
Please check that all the windows and doors are closed – don’t forget the cat flap once your cat is indoors of course.
Pippa, our ‘go to lady’ for natural remedies, recommends Phosphorous 30c that you can buy from Holland & Barrett or Boots.
We have also had positive feedback about Zylkene herbal tablets which apparently are good for helping the dogs de-stress.
The ultimate in drug free, natural treatments are Thundershirts that fit snugly on the dogs to apply pressure in all the right places, rather like swaddling on a baby, to keep the dogs calm.
Don’t let your dog go out to the toilet until you know the fireworks have stopped. If they are too distressed to go out then it’s probably best to wait until the morning.
Don’t forget to keep the water bowl topped up as they might get thirsty if they’re panting a lot.
And finally, above all else, keep calm and quiet yourself to send positive signals to your dog.
Wishing you and your dogs a safe Bonfire Night from everyone at 1 Dog at a Time Rescue.
Dedicated to saving abandoned Romanian dogs and finding them loving homes
1 Dog at a Time Rescue is a UK registered charity (number 1167007)