Expert advice from Gencon the Dog Head Collar Specialists
As the evenings draw in now that Autumn has arrived it brings beautiful shades of oranges, a cold chill and dark nights. For some people this would be the perfect ingredients for an enjoyable weekend, walking through the trees wrapped up warm then heading to the local pub for a drink by the fire. When the evening draws in you may even get to see some fireworks. We all love fireworks, they are beautiful, colourful, exciting and … LOUD. They are loud for us so imagine the noise level for our four legged friends with their acute hearing.
Remember remember the 5th of November, remember to safeguard your dog, more pets run away around November 5th than any other holiday, make sure your pet is wearing proper identification in case they do run away. It is natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises, they experience the world through their strong senses, fireworks are close to the ground, have sudden booms and unexpected flashes, along with alien burning smells. That’s enough to make any dog run a mile.
In the lead up to Bonfire Night acclimatise your dog to the noises of the big night, this can be done by short burst of firework noise playing on You-tube or something similar, reward them with affection and treats and as the days get closer make the noise louder. They will then begin to associate firework noises with rewards. This should be done throughout the year to condition them not to be afraid.
You often hear of dogs hiding under desks or going into the shower , this is because it is a closed of space where they feel sheltered. Get a travel kennel at home, make it really cosy and comfortable, place a blanket over the top of the kennel to make your dog feel safe and protected.
Last Minute Preparation –
Place the kennel in the room you spend most of your time in and make sure you have given them a long walk during the day so they will feel tired and have less energy. If you HAVE to go out then get someone to come and spend time with your dog.
Feed your dog before you expect any disturbances as once the fireworks begin the may become too anxious to eat.
Dogs look to their owners for clues on how to behave, if you are appearing calm and relaxed they will read your body language and understand that they do not need to feel afraid. Reassuring them with affection and treats is also important.
Take all focus away from the fireworks by playing music and start a game with your dog, generally keeping them busy. Maybe treat your dog to a new toy and save it especially for Bonfire night. Some tasty treats will also help to create good associations with this time of year.
Make sure your garden is completely escape proof, loud sounds trigger dogs nervous systems and running away from the noise is a survival instinct. You may think your fence is tall enough but if a dog thinks it is life or death they will take a running jump. If you therefore cannot ensure they can’t get out then put them on the lead whilst they do their business. Let your dog relieve themselves every couple of hours.
Make sure all doors, windows and curtains are shut, this will block out any flashing lights and reduce the noise of the fireworks.
When dogs are anxious or scared they pant, make sure they have plenty of fresh water putting another bowl down in more than one area of the house helps.
When you are going to bed put the kennel in your bedroom or in the hallway letting your pet stay near you will make them feel more relaxed. Give them a treat before bed and make sure they have relieved themselves.
- Tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off
- Leave your dog alone or in a separate room from you
- Try to force your dog to face their fears – they’ll just become more frightened
Follow this advice to put the wag back into your dog’s tail this bonfire night. Try to keep to the usual routine, if you act normally then your dog should follow suit.
Gencon dog head collars are pleased to have a team of behaviour experts on board who are able to provide advice on all matters of dog ownership. Our collars are made here in the UK and the perfect dog head collar to use on your Autumn walks with your dog.