Bonfire night and stressful times for dogs

Tuesday, 27 November 2012  |  Kate

Bonfire night can be a very stressful time for anxious dogs, with fireworks constantly going off. Since dogs don't know what fireworks are, they probably assume the doggiepocalypse is nigh, so we've put together some tips to help your dog remain calm.

  1. If you're hosting a fireworks display in your garden send your dog to visit a relative for a night away from the noise and strangers (from the dog's point-of-view).
  2. Or if your dog has a safe place they like to vanish to for short holidays like under the bed (it's very warm this time of year) it's best to leave them to it if they feel safe there. Make sure they have access to food and water without them having to dart into the kitchen and mingle with your guests. Check on them occasionally.
  3. When your dog has an anxiety attack, make sure you remain in a positive frame of mind so your dog can feed off your emotions and know there is nothing to fear.
  4. Punishment or overly comforting your dog during anxiety attacks can be damaging for your dog's emotional well-being. Praise them when they feel better.
  5. Avoid leaving your dog home alone when fireworks are going off, they may hurt themselves in their panic if you're not there.
  6. Prescribed sedation from the vets usually just physically immobilises your dog but does nothing for the fear, if you're thinking about using drugs, just say no.
  7. Instead, Dorwest Scullcap & Valerian Tablets, a licensed herbal treatment, is much more effective at actually treating your dog's anxiety.
  8. Also, our Dorwest Firework Combo works very well for super stressed dogs. Give Scullcap & Valerian tablets in the days leading up to a firework display then give the Valerian Compound on the day itself for extra calming.
  9. Use habituation training (usually with a CD) to desensitise your dog through gentle exposure combined with positive reinforcement.

Remember, every dog is different so try a few treatments and see what work best for yours.