Is your pup ready for fireworks season?
September 30, 2023
Is this your pup’s first firework season? Are you concerned about how they might react?
Now is the time to act to get them ready – it is important that from an early age, as much as possible is done to help your pet associate loud noises with pleasant experiences such as their favourite game, chew toy or activity. These activities should be presented to your pet every time there are noisy events regardless of whether they seem stressed or not. Sound desensitisation is a key part of training your dog to accept unpleasant noises and not to be fearful. This approach to behaviour modification can be very rewarding but does require time and effort to achieve success so it is important to start early.
- There are online resources freely available from the Dogs Trust that can be played on your phone or TV – start quietly whilst your pet is relaxed or playing a game and then gradually build up the noise level – keep doing this regularly until your pet barely looks when the loud noises are played.
- Don’t react to any loud noises yourself – your pet will look to you to see how you react so carrying on as normal will give them the best positive response.
- Don’t try to comfort your pet, unless they come to you. Seeking them out to provide comfort just re-enforces the idea that the noise is something to fear.
- Often fearful pets will have a favourite place to retreat to. Ensure that they have access to this place and maybe provide some blankets or toys that smell familiar to support them.
- Make sure your garden and house is secure – scared pets can sometimes run and none of us like the thought of a scared pup running around!
- Make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date, just in case.
Finally, if you know your pet finds these noises stressful and distressing, please book a video appointment to talk to one of our vets for further advice as there are things we can provide to help.