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Tomorrow is Australia Day and that means BBQs, sunshine, a day off work to spend time with friends and family and …. fireworks! Most of us love the colour and excitement but fireworks can be a nightmare for your dogs.
A lot of dogs get so frightened; they escape the property and just keep running. The RSPCA are kept very busy and so it’s really important for your dogs to always wear pet identification.
If you’re not sure how your dog will react here are some tips to help you, help him:
The RSPCA recommends, you take your dog out for plenty of active exercise before the fireworks start, then after a couple of hours you can feed a meal. A tired and well-fed dog will be far less anxious during the night. If you can, stay home to be with your pet. Let your pet be with you Do not fuss over your pet excessively but try to engage them in normal activities. Do not soothe and comfort a scared dog, it will only increase the problem. Instead, be cheerful and in control.
If you are not going to be home,
  • Put your dog in a safe room in the house, away from the noise
  • Place a load of blankets in there so he can burrow in and hide
  • Leave some chews or favourite toys
Cesar Milan, world-renowned dog behaviour specialist and “dog whisperer”, recommends that you prepare for your dog’s reaction to fireworks, thunder and other noisemakers.
The best preparation is prevention so if you already know your dog/s will react badly; start desensitising them to the loud noises throughout the year. This will really help reduce the startling affect they have and help them stay calm.
Our dog would bark and whine because he was so frightened by the nearby fireworks (and thunder during storms) but by following The Dog Whisperer method, we have managed to help him overcome his fear. It was also thanks to The Claremont Showground fireworks that happened every night for 10 nights, during The Royal Perth Show. Now when he hears fireworks or thunder, he may bark, then we tell him to lie down and he is okay.  It gives him the reassurance that we are in control and there is nothing for him to worry about.
If you take your dog to this “hiding” spot a few times before the fireworks they will get to know that it’s a safe spot and calm down more easily.  And these tips work just as well for thunder and other noisy activities.
If you are not going to be home, but know that fireworks are going to be happening, another tip is to put the television or radio on. This kind of ‘close’ noise may help balance the noise from the fireworks outside.
So whatever you are doing this Australia Day, think of your dog too and make sure he (or she) is safe.  Feel free to leave a comment with any extra tips you have learnt!
See you next week,
The Team at The Poop Scoop Service