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Fright Night

Remember, remember the 5th of November or in your dog’s case forget, forget the 5th of November!

For most dogs, and most animals in general, bonfire night is their worst night of the year. All those racing rockets and bellowing bangs are enough to panic anyone but when you have four legs, a tail and go by the name of Rover or the likes the noises are enough to terrify you.

The problem comes because we cannot explain to our canine chums what is going on as they just do not comprehend our words, so the next best thing we can do for our dogs is to ensure their safety and to offer them comfort on their dreaded night. Prepare a light supper for your dog of a carbohydrate high meal such as cooked white rice and coley fish, the content relaxes your dog therefore making him/her sleepy.

Make sure that you plan your routine on Bonfire Night around your dog, so if you normally take an evening stroll remember that this will not be safe on the night.
Take your evening walk earlier in the afternoon or later at night when hopefully the fireworks have stopped, after all a law was passed here in the UK for the last firework to be let off at 11pm and no later than this. This is not to say that there will not be more after 11pm only that the vast majority of them would have gone.

Once you are all walked settle indoors and shut all your windows switch the TV on a slightly higher volume than normal or put the stereo playing.

Do not fuss your dog too much as this makes the problem so much worse. Your dog views your fussing as praise for being good and he/she thinks that the ‘good’ behaviour has been all their fear which they have displayed throughout the fireworks. If your dog happens to simply skulk away under the bed or behind the sofa just leave him/her there and carry on as you normally would for the evening, ignore your dog as though you have not even noticed where they are.

This is all psychological for your faithful friend because if he/she can observe you just going about your normal routine without a care in the world it will reassure them that there cannot be too much wrong because you are not bothered. You can try one of the various remedies available such as the special noise association/therapy cd’s which consist of firework sounds; the concept here is quite simple.

If the cd is played in advance of the night your dog should grow accustomed to the sounds and not worry about them, by the time the fireworks are let off your dog would have heard the sounds again and again and recognize them as no threat now.

The best person to advise you of the appropriate treatment for your dog is your vet or a qualified canine behaviourist as they will be able to point you in the correct direction for your breed of dog.

Have a safe and happy 5th of November with your chilled out canine!

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