Articles - Noise Phobia
Kjall at DogBasics
season is nearly upon us and thousands of dogs, cats and other
animals will suffer through it. It is not fair, but until there
is better legislation for the use of fireworks, we have to try
to make our pets as comfortable through it, as we can. Here are
some tips on how:
Preparations before the fireworks start
you have a pet that is frightened of fireworks, thunder or gun
fire, don't let it suffer any more. You can help your dog by
desensitising it to these noises, using a noise CD (click
here to buy a Fireworks, Thunder and Shots CD!). We also
suggest you find a local trainer or behaviourist who will use
reward based training methods, for help in training with the
CD, to get the best result.
them up with the right food. Feed your pet a meal
rich in carbohydrate with added vitamin B6 mid to late afternoon
so his stomach is full over the evening. (if your pet is prone
to diarrhoea when frightened, don't change his diet. You might
not be able to get him out to the toilet for over 24 hours,
in the worst cases). If you need further advice on suitable
diets, please contact your local vet.
a den. Make a nice cozy den for your dog a few days
before the fireworks start, so that he's got somewhere to hide,
when he feels anxious. The den should be darkened and have
padding. Use a dog crate with soft towels inside and a heavy
blanket covering it's top, sides and back. Alternatively put
some nice padding down in the alcove under the stairs or kitchen
sink. Provide some toys for your pet and something to occupy
yourself (whilst you keep her/him company). Be sure that the
environment is safe and secure at all times and that the pet
cannot escape and bolt with fear.
safe noises. Put some music on, preferably something
with a loud drumbeat if the pet can tolerate it. It will act
as a distraction from the noise outside.
If your vet has suggested that the use of earplugs may be helpful
for your dog, use them, BUT make sure you've trained your dog
to wear them, before the night of the fireworks. You
don't want to end up with a power struggle when your dog is already
petrified. Generally the earplugs can be made
by taking a piece of cotton wool and dampening it. Roll it into
a long thin cylinder and twist into the dog¹s ear to pack
the canal. DO NOT DO THIS unless you have been shown the
correct method by your vet or vet nurses.
Do's and Dont's...
to behave as normal as possible. If you normally don't pay your
dog that much attention, then don't start while the fireworks are
on, that just reinforces that something is wrong.
calm and relaxing. Sit down and watch TV with the volume turned
up (make sure it hasn't fireworks on the TV!). Read a book with
the radio turned up (make sure it hasn't fireworks on the radio!).
Cook a meal in the kitchen with the radio turned up. The kitchen
is such a positive place for many dogs, with food scraps, fantastic
smells, etc. It also gives you an opportunity to do something natural
without paying attention to your dog.
the vet talk you into giving your dog the strong sedative Acepromazine
(ACP, a pre-med sedative). Your dog will still hear the noises,
but won't be able to move properly, so the stress will be greater.
You are much better off trying the alternative therapies. Bach
Rescue Remedy, DAP and Scullcap
& Valerian tablets.
your pet alone when there is a risk of fireworks or other noises
he's scared off. One of the cruelest things you can do is to
leave your pet to fend for himself. If you can't be there, find
a dog sitter out in the countryside, where fireworks displays
are unlikely. Home envoironment boarding is the way to go here,
your pet when they are scared it makes him/her more anxious
and confirms that there is something to be frightened of.
your pet (this is the hardest one!) it rewards the behaviour
and increases the chance of it becoming far worse next time he
any attention to fear that seems to occur without reason. Wait
for your pet to recover and then give him/her all the attention
and praise you want to.
Get help from a professional
one of the following dog trainers, pet behaviourists or organisations
for more help in treating your dogs noise phobia:
Kjall , Dog Trainer, Great Offley, Hertfordshire
Phone: 07932 686 998 E-mail: Caroline
Haynes , Dog Trainer, home visits in Beds/Herts
Phone: 01438 820 908 or 07711 653 718 E-mail: Pam
Daniels , Pet Behaviourist, home visits in Beds/Bucks/Herts
Phone: 01234 750 789 E-mail: Melanie
Colette Kase, Pet
Behaviour Counsellor, working in London and surrounding areas.
Phone: 0208 527 0349 Web: Colette
Kase web site
UKRCB - The UK Registry of Canine Behaviourists
Phone: 020 7243 0359 URL: www.ukrcb.co.uk
Coape - Centre of applied Pet Ethology
Phone: 01747 871258 URL: www.coape.f9.co.uk
APBC - The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors
Phone: 01386 751151 URL: www.apbc.org.uk
APDT - Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Phone: 01428 707234 URL: www.apdt.co.uk
What you can do to help
Go to The
Petition Site and sign the petition to stop fireworks except
for organised events.
the Governments info about What
action can be taken against the misuse of fireworks?
phobias by Burns Pet Nutrition