Now that our summer is over and temperature is dropping. It means one thing, Christmas is fast approaching. However before Christmas we have Halloween and Fireworks night coming up.
This may be something that young children enjoy. however to our Foreign Rescue Dogs this could be a very scary time. Adjusting to living in our world can be a worry for them already, however add in the stress of loud bangs outside and even consistent knocking on the door with people wearing scary masks. We can only imagine how scary this can be for them.
To help get through Halloween and Fireworks Night I have listed some of my useful tips below.
Things to do in preparation
- Be sure to walk your dogs before dark or let them in the garden for toilet. This will ensure that they are back home safe before things start.
- Create a safe place for them. This can be anywhere that they feel secure and away from the front door. If they like going in a crate cover it with a blanket or even make them a den using the blanket between the sofas. My collie Zack used to like to hide under my bed so I made sure it was set up for him.
- Make sure the environment is secure, this includes the fencing in the garden. Quite often when scared a dog will run. We often hear of dogs that have done exactly this and go missing sometimes for days.
- Ensure family members are aware of the importance of securing the environment and have plans in place if you choose to open the door to trick or treaters.
- Remember that your dog may not want to be fussed or touched. It is important that everyone is aware of this so that bites do not happen.
- You may want to used herbal calming remedies such as skullcap and valerian, pet remedy or something similar. You can also speak to your vet about prescribed medication. This will need to be done soon as some medication can take a while to work.
- If you do not plan to open the door to trick or treaters then have a sign placed outside that with prevent people from knocking.
Things to do on the night
- Leave lights on, tv on and curtains pulled to prevent your dog from being able to see and reduce the volume of the fireworks.
- Provide enrichment for your dogs to do. This can be anything that will allow your dog to chew, lick or sniff. My collie Hero is very scared of loud bangs. I adopted him last year at Christmas so this year will be his first firework season with us. He likes to chew when he is stressed so I will make sure that I buy long lasting natural chews for him to have.
- If your dog does need to go toilet throughout the evening, then it may be a good idea to pop a lead on them as extra security. You will be surprised what a dog will do to run when feeling scared.
- Give them the choice in what they want to do. If they want to move around let me, if they want to hide in their safe place let them and if they want to snuggle up with you then it is ok to comfort them.
It is a hard time of year for many dogs. If this is the first year with your dog then be sure to prepare by following the above tips as you wont know until the nights how they are going to react. If it isn’t well then you can help your dogs prepare for next years events by desensitising them around their fears.
For further help or advice please get in touch. We are more than happy to help guide you further.