So have you heard the news?

Sainsbury’s has become the first major supermarket to stop selling fireworks following concerns for pets.

Hallelujah, good old Sainsbury’s!

We all know fireworks tend to start at least three weeks before Guy Fawkes arrives and can pretty much continue until New Year.

Now I’m all for ann organised display, have you ever been to the Lewes Bonfire Celebrations? It’s like the town, and neighbouring villages is founded on a bloodline of pyromaniacs.

Lewes hosts seven bonfire societies which organise several processions, including acts of Remembrance for the war dead, each society marches to its fire site on the edge of the town, where there are a large bonfire and firework display, and effigies are burned.

To be frank its madness and mildly scary, but because I understand it’s an annual celebration it’s fun not a fright! However the poor animals, wild and companion, who probably think it’s the end of the world, or if not them.

I believe if you like to frolic in this sorta fun then organised events are the way forward, they don’t drag on unexpectedly like home gatherings. Plus who in their right mind has money to waste on expensive fireworks. I’d rather buy more vetbed (you can never, ever have enough of this stuff).

If you have adult dogs are that are already reacting badly to fireworks:
  • Try not taking your dog outdoors, or letting them out in the garden for a toilet at times when fireworks are likely to go off. Make sure the garden is escape-proof, and your dog is microchipped.
  • Make your home a ‘safe place’ by drawing the curtains and masking the sudden bangs of fireworks by keeping the radio or TV on. An anti anxiety wrap/vest seem to be a growing trend and maybe worth researching.
  • Try to say calm, helping to decrease the dog’s anxiety.
  • Provide ‘brain games’ to help them occupied and distracted. Long-Lasting chews will them release tension.
  • There are non-prescription, natural products available to help negate feelings of stress and anxiety in forms of capsules, sprays, plug-in diffusers, wipes and collars. Adaptil and Zylkene are popular choices.
  • Seek veterinary advice for medication to help reduce your dog’s high levels of anxiety such as Sileo.

Now I have to admit my dogs are pretty chilled about fireworks. I’ve even taken them on walks with whiz, bang and crashes happening around and they pretty much plod on as usual. Partially because they are a stoic breed, but I also believe that my well-round socialisation puppy programme has set them up well for life.

Puppies should be safely and gradually exposed to many different situations, people and experiences, including loud noises, during their crucial socialisation period of 3 to 16 weeks of age. Long term this enables them to cope more effectively with novel, frightening sounds like fireworks in adulthood.

So if you have a litter now, you probably need to get started! Using smart speakers to play this unseasonal sounds are great, starting at a low volume and increasing over the weeks.

Check out the ‘Scary Sounds’ Booklet of how to successfully implement this therapy and stream or download a collection of specifically recorded noises if you don’t have a smart speaker.

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