Each year at this time Stella and I used to have a rant about Bonfire Night…this year I’m devastated that it’s just me but it is still a subject I feel strongly about. I also know that my sensitive Stella would want all her doggy pals to feel safe and secure at this time of year especially.
She’d already have been breathing a sigh of relief that trick or treaters were quiet in the street for Hallowe’en and I’d be turning down offers to go out on Saturday night as our village likes to take full advantage of the fact that fireworks are so easily available over the counter.
Therefore I was more than happy to collaborate with Lintbells, the people behind YuCalm, on this post to hopefully take at least some of the stress out of firework season for you and your four-legged friends.
Lintbells was already a brand I trusted, having used their YuMove and YuDigest products with Stella previously.
Over to them and a super little video produced on the subject of stress in dogs:
About Dog Happiness
While most people might assume that dogs tend to have a happy go lucky attitude to life, a new survey has found that it isn’t always the case. Lintbells National Dog Happiness Survey questioned almost 2000 dog owners about their dog’s happiness and found that 9% rated their dog’s happiness at 6/10 or less.
After moving house and the arrival of a new household member, firework noise was identified as one of the main triggers – with 48% of respondents claiming most dogs would be stressed by this and another 9% claiming their own dog is upset by fireworks but think this is unusual and doesn’t apply to most dogs.
Lintbells vet James Howie says there are ways to reduce the stress of fireworks season and other fearful events, “The first thing to understand is that noise phobias don’t get better with time – in fact in most cases the fearful reaction will become worse year on year.”
James advises pet owners to seek help from accredited pet behaviourists or vets, “There are techniques that can be used to help support your dog through fireworks season; using supplements and other aids can keep dogs relaxed enough to accept these techniques without feeling too anxious. It’s vital to involve the experts, though ,to make sure you help your dog learn new habits that will stick and that you lower anxiety effectively.”
Lintbells Top 10 dos and don’ts for pet owners this firework season
1. Do – keep your dog safe indoors and ensure they have identification such as a registered microchip and a collar with a disc including your contact details: 37% of survey respondents said their dogs are likely to react to stress by running away.
2. Do – provide a safe hiding place indoors (such as a tent or pet bed in a quiet, secluded part of the house): 56% of dog owners told Lintbells that their dogs tend to react to stress and anxiety by cowering or hiding.
3. Do – act calmly and normally, providing too much fuss can reinforce the idea that there is something to be afraid of.
4. Do – make sure the environment is safe if your dog starts to react in an uncharacteristic way: 13% of survey respondents said their dogs become destructive when stressed.
5. Don’t – keep the house in silence, a radio or TV can help mask the noise of fireworks.
6. Don’t – leave your dog alone at night if at all possible: 21% of survey respondents felt that being left alone was stressful for most dogs and in fact it’s estimated that up to 80% of dogs suffer from some form of separation anxiety when their owners are absent.*
7. Do – draw the curtains or blinds and if necessary drape over additional fabric to muffle noise and flashes of light.
8. Do – take your dog for a long walk during the day so they are more likely to rest or sleep in the evening.
9. Do – think about using a supplement or other aid to help your dog feel calm and relaxed.
10. Do – ask your vet or certified animal behaviourist for advice about longer term training which can include desensitisation (helping your dog to become accustomed to triggers over time by slowly building up their exposure) and counter conditioning (helping your dog to start associating a fearful event with positives rather than negatives).
Your dog may not end up quite as relaxed as the Jack Russell above but YuCalm may help a bit!
Enjoy your firework celebrations but stay safe and calm please 🙂
YuCalm is available direct from Lintbells, from all good pet supply stores and, Amazon (affiliate link)