Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice
Dog and Fireworks
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|Each year around bonfire night thousands of pets
are terrified, hundreds injured or maimed and many killed by our childish
indulgence in amature pyrotechnics. Some incidents are due to ignorance,
some to supidity and sadly some just malicious. It is not a good reflection
on a nation of animal lovers that each year we submit our pets and companions
to (what is now) several weeks of fear and misery - just for entertainment.
Do not hold "home" fireworks displays,
it is an expensive waste of money without the quality, quantity atmosphere
and organisation of a properly arranged and orchestrated display.
|If you are responsible for organising a public
display do make sure that you publish the start and end times in your
local paper and individually notify local residents of the start and end
times - then stick firmly to those times. If you do that pet owners can
ensure that their pets are exercised and allowed out before the display
begins and then kept safely at home with caring company whilst it takes
place. Remember it is not only dogs and cats that are frightened and injured
as a result of firework displays but also horses, ponies, cattle, sheep
If you are a dog owner;
- Make sure you check as far a possible when
local displays will take place. Look in your local papers and check
with neighbours if they know of any likely displays.
- For a couple of weeks before and after November
the 5th make sure that you exercise your dogs early, before fireworks
are likely to be released and make sure cats are in before dusk.
- During this period keep your dogs on the lead
(unfair but necessary) whilst being walked in case they are startled
by the irresponsible release of fireworks and run away terrorised.
- Check that your dogs have identity tags on
their collars showing your name and telephone number so that if they
are frightened and run away they stand a chance of being returned
- Arrange to be at home each evening and night
with your dogs around this time so that they have company and care
if a neighbour indulges themselves in an unannouced, antisocial firework
- Try to keep everything as normal for your
pets, don't make a big fuss of the bangs and blasts associated with
firework displays, try to ignore them and don't draw attention to
- Draw curtains, shut doors and windows, turn
up the radio or television and try as far as possible to blank out
the noise, move you and your dog to a room away from the fireworks
if you can.
- If your pet is upset by the noise of fireworks
don't fuss them, it only draws attention to and reinforces their fear
by providing a reward (your fussing), try to keep everything as normal
- Distract your pet by doing something they
enjoy or are proud of, play "hunt the toy" in the house,
do some retrieving, give them a large meaty bone - anything to divert
their attention from the fireworks.
- If your pet is very upset by fireworks consult
your vet beforehand, in severe cases your vet may prescribe a mild
sedative, in addition you could try homeopathic aids.
- In the countryside people tend to be more
aware and animal conscious, so if you have dogs who are very distressed
by fireworks consider asking the help a friend or relative in a more
rural location, where fireworks are less likely to be used in an irresponsible
and antisocial manner, to take care of them for a couple of weeks.
- You can try to reduce your dogs' noise sensitivity
by playing tapes or CDs of unatural noises, these are availble from
specialist pet shops or from the BBC. Start by replaying the noises
quietly and over a period of days or weeks increase the volume so
that your dogs learn to ignore them.
Your can recognise stress in your pet by some
or all of the following symptoms;
- Salivating and drooling,
- Trembling and shaking,
- Scratching to get into the house or out of
- Scrabbling into corners,
- Whining, barking or howling,
- Hiding under furniture,
- Whimpering and excessive or abnormal attention
- Loss of bodily functions - bladder and/or
- Refusal to eat