By Doreen Simpkins
Every year dog owners everywhere, are desperate to avoid their dogs becoming distressed as a result of the noise made by fireworks. Life can be a misery as fireworks are no longer confined to one night! As a canine counsellor or trainer, who believes in a gentle holistic approach, the following article includes information to help you and your dogs in the run up to bonfire night and beyond. The information provided is to help you the owner, make an informed choice and is not intended as a substitute for appropriate veterinary attention.
Dogs like humans have individual responses to sudden noise, with some dogs, being frightened to the extent they can injure themselves, cause damage, run off, and even be lost. However, remember that a good quality diet rich in vitamins, particularly the vitamin B group will help protect the nervous system and make the dog less prone to nervousness, and irritability. For comprehensive information on diet/health/and other therapies go to the links page or book list on my web site.
If you know your dog is upset by sudden loud noises, ensure they are not left unattended in the garden where they may become so agitated that they try to escape, and when exercising them have them on a lead so they cannot run away. Try to ensure you remain calm and confident in your body language, and avoid "fussing" the dog too much as they may then think there is a reason to be afraid! Sometimes holding the dog gently by the shoulders without making eye contact or calling them by name will be enough to calm them down.
Other possible solutions include Tellington Touch, a system of massage and hand slides which can be learned by owners themselves, or there is a nationwide list of qualified practitioners. The book Getting In TTouch With Your Dog is very useful in teaching the correct technique for problems that dogs may have, or it may be that your dog will respond best to a body wrap--- reassuring and relaxing for a tense and nervous dog!
Some dogs respond well to natural remedies like Skullcap and Valerian available from www.dorwest.com .
A further option is a DAP( dog appeasing pheromone) adaptor which can be effective for some animals and can be purchased online, or at some veterinary surgeries.