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Tails from a Dog Trainer – Things that go bang!

18 Oct, 2018

We’re fast approaching “Fireworks Season” which can be very difficult for dogs. Whilst a noise sensitivity training plan can help some dogs, this can take time to implement, so here are some top tips with helping your dog though the next few months of celebrations.

  1. Check local event listings – you need to know when are where the biggest celebrations will be taking place so you can plan accordingly.
  2. If your dog has struggled before, book a vet appointment to discuss whether medication may be appropriate. There are pheromone-based and holistic alternatives available in shops but you should discuss with your vet/a qualified canine practitioner first.
  3. Take your dog out early on the night you expect fireworks (before it gets dark). Let them sniff/engage with the environment and do some training. Keep energy levels low – no high-energy ball games!
  4. Prepare your home – close curtains, turn up the TV or radio (not too loud) and plan enrichment games to keep your dog busy, use feeder/puzzle toys or a snufflemat. Give them a safe place to be (could be their crate) where you can keep an eye on them.
  5. A Thundershirt or tight T-Shirt can help to calm some dogs.
  6. If you do need to let them into the garden, ensure it is secure – no loose fitting gates or low fences. If your dog is spooked they may try to run away in panic. If in doubt, keep them on lead.
  7. If you know your dog will struggle try to ensure they are not left alone whilst celebrations are taking place.

Never worry about comforting your dog; it may help them to feel less anxious. It’s important you try and stay as calm as you can (I know it’s not easy!).

Louise Burton IMDT
Hilton Dogs

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