As we approach our first Guy Fawkes with our new pup, Tyson, I’m wondering how he may cope if any of our neighbours let off fireworks.
Fortunately living with 2 young boys he is well used to loud bangs and screeches! We also did a bit of desensitisation work with him as a pup using some excellent fireworks desensitisation videos on You Tube.
Our family is not big on fireworks, so we won’t be letting off any at our place or attending any public displays. Nevertheless, we’ll be following some of these steps on the night to keep Tyson calm and safe should any neighbours decide to make some noise:
A nice long walk before fireworks time
He’ll be all good with this – a nice long walk, well before any fireworks are likely to start, will tire him out and help him settle for the night.
Keeping him safe inside on Guy Fawkes night
Never one to turn down the opportunity for a night on the couch, he’ll be inside with us with the noise of the TV muffling any fireworks noise and the curtains closed so he doesn’t see any bright flashes.
Lots of dog toys and fun distractions
He’ll be stoked to see his Kong and his treat balls come out! Whoopee! These will keep his brain busy and distracted from the noise.
We’ll have a safe space to hide all set up
Tyson is crate trained so we’ll have his crate set up for his night inside and covered with an old blanket. This will give him a nice, safe den to retreat to if he’s feeling nervous.
We’re expecting that he will be fine, but for the many dogs out there with genuine fireworks phobias there are a few other options that can be used. One is to try anxiety relief products such as Adaptil, which is a replica of the dog appeasing pheromone and is scientifically proven to help dogs remain calm in the face of loud noises, or a compression wrap, such as a Thundershirt. For dogs who don’t respond to these products, working with a dog behaviour specialist is a must. This needs to be started well before Guy Fawkes night to be successful.
One final tip Guy Fawkes tip
Guy Fawkes is a good annual reminder to check that your dog still has their registration tag attached to their collar and that all microchip details are up to date.