Here in the UK, early November means one thing & one thing only….gunpowder, treason & plot!
Actually that’s three things, but basically it means fireworks and for dog owners that means stress, anxiety and Firework Phobia.
Holly suffers from firework phobia which means every year we spend the entire month of October getting ready for Halloween and Bonfire Night in a very different way to most other people!
While the rest of the country might be out buying fireworks and building bonfires with effigies of Guy Fawkes ready to burn on the 5th of November we’re preparing for long nights of loud noises! Unfortunately for pet owners, people enjoy fireworks and admittedly before I understood the consequences to anxious pets, I did too. Worse still the fireworks aren’t kept just to the 5th they start waaaaay before then!
We prepare in October and we start by moving our routine (Holly’s and mine) to ensure walkies is before dark and therefore before the fireworks get going. We turn the radio and TV up a notch and we play games like tug and find the treats to distract from any noise outside. We snuggle up so she knows she has a safe place if she’s scared and we never ever EVER leave them home alone on Bonfire Night.
Holly also has calming tablets from the vet because she suffers so badly and they do work really well on their own but we choose to use them alongside all the other techniques so the night is as stress free as possible for her.
We find that we really can’t throw enough at helping an anxious dog to settle when it’s fireworks season so we use all of these techniques together, calming tablets, TV noise, radio noise, games, treats, snuggles, safe place and early walkies.
If you’ve got any tips of your own for this anxious time for pets let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you as, like a lot of other dogs, Holly really does suffer at this time of year.
lots of love and pug hugs xo