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Dogs and Fireworks; Useful Resource
Topic Started: 29 Oct 2012, 19:52 (1,038 Views)
TreadSoftly
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Only Failed Once Foster Person
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I came across this

http://www.dogsandfireworks.com/

and thought it might be a useful resource.

The site is written by Karen Wild, who is well-respected and contains a guide with advice and tips and am mp3 to download.

It would be interesting to know what you've had success with when dealing with a dog who is afraid of fireworks?
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Nikirooshka
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The best thing I ever did for Remy was try him on valerian tincture, it really was the thing that finally helped him turn the corner and start to improve.

Last year however, I had to use valerian root capsules rather than tincture, they are supposed to be quite a bit less effective. Yet this year, he has been 100 times better than he has ever been :unsure: Once today and yesterday, I've opened the back door at just the wrong moment, when he was stood in the kitchen, and there's been a big bang - normally that would send him scuttling off then he'd be a nervous wreck the rest of the evening, but it's had no effect at all either time :blink: :biggrin:
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Lindstashfreban
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That's one of my favourite resources for owners, :goodjob:

For me I think the best way is to manage for the coming fireworks season using whatever help is best for the dog (Zylkene, scullcap and valerian, Adaptil/Dap etc plus all the good advice such as making a safe den and walking earlier. Sometimes vets will need to prescribe medication (but never ACP :no: ).

Then, after the fireworks season is hopefully over, start up a good desensitisation and counter conditioning plan, usually best to start i say late January after the New Year when all fireworks are hopefully spent. It is also useful to remember to work out how to Ds/CC to smells and lights etc if the dog is affected by these. There are ways of doing this :)

What should then happen is that next time around the dog can cope ok. What is looked for is the recovery period, so for example if there is a loud noise, we all might jump - but we recover fast. So it's good if the dog does that too. That is really the aim, because at the end of the day it's hard to literally stop that initial reactio to anything unexpected.

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TreadSoftly
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Thanks for your thoughts on it Lindsay :flowers:

Has anyone tried playing the story to their dogs and seeing if they have any reaction to it?
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BunterJo
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1 Nov 2012, 05:52
Dogs Today posted this on FB but I know some people don't use it so I though I'd shamelessly nick it and put it here (I'm sure Beverley Cuddy wouldn't mind). Some good advice here and it would be interesting to know if the audiobook seems to help anyone?

The world’s first bedtime story for dogs has been released, narrated by Simon Callow. The audiobook has been scientifically developed to help calm and relax a dog after the stresses of Bonfire Night, with the help of our very own resident behaviourist, Karen Wild.

Teddy & Stanley’s Tall Tale is available as free on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-peZNCkRzzw&feature=plcp

Karen advised closely on the overall structure and the precise words and speech patterns needed to have a relaxing influence on a dog - pinpointing canine-friendly cadence, lengths of sounds, intensities, volumes, frequencies and pitch to ensure maximum effectiveness.

MORE TH>N Pet Insurance, creators of the audiobook, gave the following advice for preparing for fireworks:

1) Play the story at calm times regularly before the fireworks begin – A good choice might be when they are eating their favourite dinner, or settling for a nap.
2) Keep the radio or TV on in another room - This will help to form a familiar 'crossover' sound that will further block out any extra noise from outside.
3) Draw the curtains and keep the lights on - This will help to block out sound and any flashes of light from the fireworks.
4) Build a safe den - If your dog likes to hide and has already found a place that is safe, make it comfy with cosy blankets.
5) Walk your dog while it is still light - Take them out for a long walk earlier than normal before the fireworks start.
6) Make sure your dog has a collar and ID tag - Around Bonfire Night it is not unusual for pets to go missing. Make sure your dog is wearing a well-fitting collar and ID tag.
7) Ask your Vet for advice - Your Vet will be able to help particularly if you are worried that your dog will suffer an extreme reaction.
8) Cuddles can be comforting - It is natural for a dog to fear the loud sudden noise of fireworks so never assume that it will be fine no matter what you try in terms of prevention.
9) Fireworks can be fun - Make sure you have lots of nice things for your dog to enjoy around fireworks time, such as a special, tasty dinner and yummy chews.
10) Don't panic! - As well as the bedtime story being designed to help your dog, it is also very soothing and heartwarming for humans, too. Put your feet up with a warm drink and share a relaxing, safe and snuggly Bonfire Night with your best friend.

Let us know what you think of the audiobook!
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BunterJo
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Just amalgamated all the posts about fireworks, etc in one post :).


Lots of exercise before the fireworks start, meal full of carbs and spraying lavender oil diluted in water around are some other tips I have seen. I also have one of the 'Through a Dog's Ear' CDs playing and a Pet Remedy diffuser plugged in.


How's it going for you? Started here already, but not too loud as yet. Taff is in a covered crate and seems OK at the moment :) The other two aren't bothered in the slightest :biggrin:
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BunterJo
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1 Nov 2012, 12:00
Has anyone tried playing the story to their dogs and seeing if they have any reaction to it?
I played the story. Dogs snoozed :laugh:
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Indie chick
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Colt is doing OK so far - he has been on Zylkene since yesterday morning and tonight there are quite a few fireworks going off but they are a long way in the distance so not too loud and no fizzing or lights. He looks pretty relaxed and isn't climbing on our laps or hiding so :fingers: I think it will be different over the weekend when there are more and they are closer.
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BunterJo
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Is it unusual for HPR types to be afraid of fireworks? The labs I've fostered have been able to go on a walk even with huge fireworks going off all around.

Poor Colt :hug:
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Indie chick
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I spoke too soon, there have been some louder bangs and he has taken himself off to the utility room, he looks anxious but not as bad as he will be over the weekend. He is very very gun shy which is of course why his owner was going to shoot him 3 years ago (mean b-----d, wasn't even going to pay for a vet to do it). Indie is a little anxious but Arthur looks up all excited as he must think the shoot is in town.
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TreadSoftly
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Poor Colt :err:

We think Beth will be fine. Not that we get much in the way of fireworks close by here. For all the things she is nervous of, gun shot, which we do get an awful lot of near by, doesn't bother her. If she could bring herself to be near strange people she'd probably make quite a good HPR dog :rolleyes: :laugh:

Have you tried playing the audiobook in the link to Colt?
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Indie chick
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Sarah do you mean the video with firework noises and flashes? If so then yes I have played that a couple of times when he is on the bed in my office and he looks up and puts his head on one side then goes back to sleep. Indie has been searching the room trying to find where the noise is coming from. Not the same reaction we get from Colt to the real thing :dunno:
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BunterJo
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Some more tips from Marc the Vet
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BunterJo
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Armageddon going on outside :err:

Taff is in his covered crate. He's munched fishy treats and is now nomming a cheesey Kong :biggrin:

How are your's doing?
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Indie chick
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So far so good but we haven't had any close by so not really much for him to react to. He knows something is going on and is not as relaxed and sleeping like usual but not anxious either. :fingers: we might be lucky and have no local ones this year. What amazes me is how people afford them anyway.
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Jazzlet
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Bruse Springsteen played loud means we can't hear the fireworks and sends the dogs to sleep :blink:
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Indie chick
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Why do people on the tele keeping saying its bonfire night tonight, it is not, its on Monday :mad:
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