Believe it or not, canine behaviour experts at Natural Instinct have said that reggae music or a calming audiobook could help your dog cope with firework induced stress and anxiety.
With most public fireworks displays cancelled this year, families are gearing up to celebrate bonfire night at home, meaning more DIY shows in the back garden.
As many of us know, the loud bangs and flashes are often extremely frightening and can cause stress, anxiety and unpredictability, potentially putting your dog’s safety at risk.
Recent research from the Kennel Club showed that approximately one in four households purchased a new puppy during the pandemic. Natural Instinct’s canine behavior expert, Kirsten Dillon says, “It’s important to make sure your dog feels as safe as possible. There are lots of simple ways to do this — such as closing the windows and curtains to muffle the sounds — but there are more unusual things you can try.
“Clinical research shows that reggae is the most effective musical style to soothe and calm dogs (and cows enjoy jazz), while other studies show that audiobooks of Roald Dahl stories have had similar effects. Seems strange, but why not give it a try?”
Here are Kirsten’s top tips for keeping your dog calm this fireworks season.
1. Create a safe haven. Look at where your pup chooses to hide and turn that place into a soundproof, darkened escape — whether that’s the utility room or under the stairs!
2. Give your dog Sileo. Sileo is the first American FDA-approved treatment for canine noise aversion and is proven to be very effective. It’s easy to administer, but please consult your
vet or other professional for guidance — and make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully. Find more info at sileodogus.com
3. Try plug-in diffusers or thunder shirts. Plug-ins typically use pheromones with de-stressing properties; thunder shirts provide gentle constant pressure known to have relaxing effects.
4. Pet remedies such as a calming supplements are also reported to help relieve anxiety. Consult your vet or other professionals beforehand if you have any concerns — and always read and follow instructions carefully. Find products and information at petremedies.co.uk
5. Use something to mask the heavy smells of fireworks — air freshener and reed diffusers (placed out of reach) are sometimes easy tools. Cordite (similar to gunpowder and used in most fireworks) is a trigger just as much as flashes and noises, so finding a way to cover up the smell will also help. Wrapping dogs in a freshly washed blanket or towel can increase comfort, too.