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Five Top Tips for Fireworks Season

So, Halloween is over, and the 5th of November is approaching fast! This means a weekend of fireworks going off all over the place, which is ok if you don't have a dog (or pets) who aren't scared of the loud noises.

Floss & Merlin, my two dogs who feature regularly on my blog posts, sadly don't like fireworks - especially Floss! Although we can't stop the fireworks from happening, we can do our 'Get Ready for Fireworks' routine, to help reduce the stress it causes.

Here are my Five Top Tips for getting ready for Fireworks Season!

1) Walk your Dog - Make sure you've taken your dog out for a good long walk in the daytime, when it's daylight and there aren't going to be any fireworks going off. We always go somewhere different for Bonfire Night as the different smells, sights and sounds of the walk help to use up some of Floss & Merlin's excess energy, and the mental stimulation of exploring a different place also helps tire them out!

If you do have to walk your dog in the dusk/darker hours of the day, then it's highly recommended that you keep your dog on-lead; no matter how good their recall is! If a firework were to go off unexpectedly and your dog was off-lead, they could spook and bolt off in a different direction rather than coming back to you.

2) Desensitisation Work with your Dog - It's recommended that you do this from the day your puppy/dog comes home to you, however it's never too late to start desensitising your dog to the sound of fireworks in order to help them cope better. If you search on Google or Youtube for Fireworks Soundtrack or Firework Noises for Dogs, you will find a range of playlists that have various fireworks sounds on them. Now it's really important that if you are going to use one of these soundtracks you start it on a very very LOW Volume level, otherwise this could spook your dog! Over a few days/weeks/months (you know your dog best, so see how they cope with the soundtracks first), slowly and gradually increase the volume levels.

3) Try a Calming Product - There are many different calming products on the market now for our pets, however it's important that you use the right one for your pets. So, it's always best to seek advice from your Vets; especially if your pet is on any medication, or from your local Pet Stores. The below products are ones that I have used myself with Floss & Merlin, so I am happy to include them in this blog post.

Dorwest Herbs - Valerian Compound.

We discovered Dorwest Herbs Valerian Compound last year, after visiting our local Pet Shop - Mutt & Moggy - We spoke to Sue the owner of the store and told her how badly Floss & Merlin struggle with fireworks season, and she recommended Dorwest Herbs Valerian Compound which is a natural herbal remedy! I can confirm it helps Floss out massively! It comes in both a liquid form and a tablet form.

Pet Remedy.

Pet Remedy is a natural de-stress and calming product, which comes as a plug-in defuser or a spray. Pet Remedy contains a blend of low concentration essential oils that work alongside the natural neurotransmitters in the brain to reduce your pets stress and anxiety. We have used the plug-in defuser in previous years. Pet Remedy is available in most pet stores.

4) Create a Safe Space for your Dog - Some dogs will want to hide from the fireworks, so it's a good idea to create a safe space for them. We crate trained Floss & Merlin as puppies, and we make sure that their crate area is set up for fireworks season. If you don't have a crate, you can create a safe space for your dog which may include, extra blankets on their bed, or a den area where it's darker and they can hide. You can get some stunning handmade blankets from Manda who owns The Dog Co. Below are some two examples of blankets from The Dog Co.

5) Distraction and Comforting your Dog - We use a mix of distraction and comforting techniques to help Floss & Merlin through the fireworks season.

Distraction includes Classic FM Radio play classical music for pets over Bonfire Weekend, so it might be worth trying this in your home, or if your dog isn't too stressed out, play their favourite game with them. Floss's favourite game is to play with a ball, so we get a ball or 3 out for her and play catch for as long as she wants too.

Comforting includes simply being there for your dog, Merlin is a bit of a snuggle buddy, and he enjoys having a snuggle or being stroked, so we give him as much comfort as he wants.

My last little piece of advice is related to your dog's meal times. You may find that if your dog struggles with fireworks, they may not want to eat, so we suggest trying to feed them earlier on Bonfire Night, so that they have chance to have their meals. If you think your dog may be so stressed that they will bring their food back up after eating, either give them a smaller portion or skip a meal.

I hope that my Five Top Tips for Fireworks Season help you and your pets cope this year.

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