NEW YEARS EVE AND FIREWORK
I am very lucky having (and always have had) Collies that are not afraid of noise, like firework at New Year’s Eve.
Even if my Collies are not afraid I have always prepared them for the evening. A long hike the same day, some mental training, a good dinner, and of course when the noise are at its worst they get some treats that are crunchy.
And since my Collies are crazy about food and treats the house can fall down without them knowing it if they just have treats to eat – I love it.and this is how it should be. I remember years ago when my Sammie was getting firecrackers thrown at her chest (by some idiot people), she just shake it off and even after this she never in her whole life reacted to firework/gunshots etc. I have been extremely lucky with my Collies.
But unfortunately not all people are as lucky as me, and they have dogs that are afraid of noise and firework.
Several signs show your dog has anxiety of fireworks. Shaking and clinging to the owner, they will try to hide, pacing and panting, and do not want to eat or take treats.
There are things you can do to help your dog, here are some tips :
Give your dog a lot of exercise earlier in that day – a long walk. Let him/her be tired, have a training session too.
Have your dog a place where the noise is not as loud. A kind of “hiding place”, where your dog likes to be/sleep/relax – you can spray this place with Adaptil (check point 3).
Some dogs love a crate, and want to be in that when it’s noisy. If that crate is in another room and your dog want to lay there, turn the radio on a bit loud. Is the crate in the laundry room – put a few washes on. You can also let him/her listen to “Relax My Dog’s YouTube Channel”
Place him/her on a kennel/family where there are no or little noise
Desensitization:, learn your puppy/adult dog to be comfortable with the sound of fireworks by using a CD with that kind of noise. Increase the volume when he/she get used to it. Don’t start just before new year’s eve but start a few months before. If you can’t get hold on a CD check out YouTube – lots of videos there. When the CD play or the videos from YouTube, then play with you dog – they will associate noise with fun.
When you get your puppy, start with making them comfortable with all kinds of noise
There are things to sedate your dogs. Personally I think conventional medication is a bad thing as their brain works but not their body – my opinion. An example is the drug Calmivet – it is a sedative but not a great effect on the anxiety – your dog will be sleepy, but will experience problems moving, and therefor can’t express his/hers anxiety. Talk to you veterinarian about safe drugs that works.
There are other things like thunder-shirt (designed to slow the breathing) is also a wrap for your dog that provides gentle, constant pressure – according to several dog-owners that kind of shirt do work.
Some you can try that don’t paralyze their body like conventional medicine is pheromone support. This is a natural pheromone, like the one that a mother produce to reassure her puppies. It has been made a synthetic copy of this pheromone and the name is Adaptil. The pheromone has proven to help both puppies and adult dogs with sound sensitivity during new year’s eve. It can be plugged in the adapter, or you can get some that you can spray on the dog-bed or on the collar. Start with Adaptil some days before new year’s eve and stop a few days after.
Some also give Melatonin (the dosage is 3 mg for a 50-lb. dog).
I have personally never tried anything of this
Behave normal, the best is to be calm yourself, sending calming energy that the firework is not dangerous. Don’t make a fuss about the noise, and the dog will look at you and don’t worry.
Distract him/her with giving treats, a frozen Kong with some yummy treats in it will keep him/her occupied. Food has a beneficial effect on brain chemistry.
Play with your dog - just as you do every day.
Normally it will not be a good idea to take your dog out to watch the firework - they have no pleasure of that. Keep him/her inside
Have them microchipped. Here in my country every single year some dogs escape through open doors. Be sure to have closed doors and windows.
If you know your dog is terrifies it can be a good idea to let him /her have his collar on with id-tag IF he/she should take off.
Shut the curtains (that will block scary flashes of light and also reduce the noise-level), and mask the firework-sound by having the TV a bit loud on (or radio)
You can buy earmuffs (search Mutt Muff)
Do not let your dog be alone at home. Either you are there or someone your dog trust. Have normal routines.
Don’t be angry at your dog – he/she can’t help being afraid and anxious.