05 Nov Keeping Your Canine Companions Safe and Stress-Free This Firework Weekend!
The hearing ability of a dog is dependent on breed and age, though the range of hearing is usually around 67 Hz to 45 kHz. As with humans, some dog breeds’ hearing ranges narrow with age, such as the German shepherd and miniature poodle. When dogs hear a sound, they will move their ears towards it in order to maximize reception. To achieve this, the ears of a dog are controlled by at least 18 muscles, which allow the ears to tilt and rotate. The shape of the ears also allows the sound to be heard more accurately. Many breeds often have upright and curved ears, which direct and amplify sounds. That’s why it’s important to keep our dogs safe during the fireworks season. The RSPCA reported that in 2019, it was estimated that 60% of dogs experienced severe distress when exposed to fireworks. The affects are so severe, that the anxious behaviour dog’s exhibit has been compared to post traumatic stress in humans. Fireworks can also cause heart attacks and even death in dogs. It is recommended to speak to a neighbour politely and determine if they are planning on having fireworks and when. At the very least, neighbours can give a fair warning when they are setting fireworks off, so you and your dog can be prepared. Purchasing low noise fireworks is a solution to reduce a dog’s stress and anxiety, they can be bought from: Tesco Asda, Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi.
The vital signs to look out for if your dog is suffering from stress and anxiety:
- Tail between its legs
- Barking or crying
- Excessive licking
- Destructive behaviour
- Loss of appetite
- Distracted to focus
- Persistent yawning
Dogs are very adept at reading emotions, and they can sense any tension or stress. Owners have reported their animals trembling and shaking for days after firework displays have finished so we need to do our upmost to keep our canine companions safe and stress-free.
Keeping your Dog (s) Calm and Happy During Firework Displays:
Take your dog for a long walk while it’s still light so that your dog is relaxed and will not need to go to the toilet once the fireworks start. If he needs to be taken out again, try to wait until after any fireworks have finished.
Applying a Thunder Shirt or Calming Wrap is a natural calming for a dog, reducing a dog’s fears and anxieties whilst fireworks are being set off.
Recent studies have proven that playing Reggae music can be both relaxing and soothing thereby creating a calm happy dog! Reducing their stress and anxiety.
You could play an audiobook such as Roald Dahl stories. Studies have also shown that audiobooks can help create a calm atmosphere with Roald Dahl stories being the top pick for dogs. An algorithmically generated playlist is now available on – Spotify.com/pets – to soothe both you and your dog. Comforting your dog, could even mean sitting together and relaxing watching TV together, which will then drown out the noise of fireworks
Natural Remedies for dogs are available: CBD Oil, essential oils are very powerful for dogs so hydrosols can be a much gentler option. Hydrosols are left over from the essential oil-making process. They’re far less concentrated than the essential oils and considered safer for dogs.
If you’re already aware that your dog experiences extreme anxiety in response to fireworks, it may be worth visiting the vet in advance, and enquiring about possible anti-anxiety medication or sedatives that can be administered temporarily, to help them settle. Feed a calming dog food or a supplement to help manage your dog’s stress.
Create a haven; Look at where they choose to hide and turn that place into a soundproof, darkened escape, whether that’s the downstairs toilet, under the stairs or anywhere else they feel safe day-to-day. Ensure curtains and blinds are shut to muffle the sound of the fireworks.
A doggy den is a great way to help your dogs to feel safe and secure, a den acts as a safe place for a dog. They can retreat there and feel comfortable, knowing they won’t be disturbed.
Ensure your dog is microchipped and your details are up to date – if they run away from home, there is more chance you will be reunited.
Please look after your canine’s welfare and ensure you keep them safe and stress free over the firework period. Team Dogs has launched a fireworks campaign called ‘Toffee’s Appeal’, with the hashtag #BeMoreToffee calling for people to donate dog food to their local shelter instead of buying fireworks. They think it’s time for some real change. Do you? Comment below.