Fear of Fireworks

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Fear of Fireworks

Post by dizzy on Tue Oct 30 2018, 16:32

It's that time of year again when our pets are subjected to fireworks. Dodger is terrified of them. I've tried calming drops, thunder jacket etc. I make him a den in his safe place, play loud music, try to distract him with favourite toys and treats, I bought a tape of firework noises to get him used to the sounds, but nothing has worked.
Does anyone have any other suggestions for me to try?
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Re: Fear of Fireworks

Post by gillybrent on Tue Oct 30 2018, 18:32

There is a new treatment, available only from vets, but I don't know how widely it's available...

http://sileodogus.com/?fbclid=IwAR3VT7MS7_81bzrWfKkroPBvOVshimmtMusEPxe28HWEwyjHWp5RAk2yx0M

Now, there are a lot of possible side effects, so you'd have to balance the pros & cons.


Last edited by gillybrent on Wed Oct 31 2018, 08:21; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Fear of Fireworks

Post by LizP on Tue Oct 30 2018, 18:33

Yes, but sadly not in time for this year's Bonfire Night (week, fortnight... ). The only thing I can think of off the top of my head for the coming days that you've not tried is to pop Dodger in the car with the radio on and drive round away from the worst of it. Sometimes the movement of the car can give them something else to think about, and the sound can help drown out the noise (unless you have an electric car, that is). That and other ideas are on the info sheet, link below.

For the longer term, I would try training. It sounds an impossible task but I promise you it's not. I managed to get anxiety ridden Bobbert from trying to dig holes in the floor, trying to climb out of closed windows, chewing furniture, etc., to actually sleeping through fireworks. It was a lot of work but worth it. I did it the way I've set out here:

http://staffy-bull-terrier.niceboard.com/t66935-preparing-for-fireworks#1024446

And any puppy owners reading this, prepare now! Your pup may not have a problem anyway but it's always best to plan in advance, just in case.



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Re: Fear of Fireworks

Post by dizzy on Tue Oct 30 2018, 20:12

Thanks Liz, l'll give it a go.
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Re: Fear of Fireworks

Post by Paris1990 on Thu Nov 01 2018, 07:03

It was hanks first bonfire night last year and we chose to let him see the fireworks and react in a positive way around him when they went off cheering and laughing and letting him see them out the window and Everytime one went off he would way his tail and not bother. I think when having a pup if I were to have expected him to be scared and worry and flap around him when they were going off I’d have made him scared of them because pups learn from us so if he thought he should have been scared of the loud bangs he would be have been.. I also found some tracks to play specially for training for fireworks loud bangs etc and we were banging things in the house Laughing
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Re: Fear of Fireworks

Post by dizzy on Tue Nov 06 2018, 09:19

Tried sileo gel for Dodge. Quite expensive, got it from the vet. It did nothing at all! What a waste of money!
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Re: Fear of Fireworks

Post by LizP on Tue Nov 06 2018, 16:40

Sadly I'm not surprised. I think the various products that are aimed at addressing fear related issues are missing the point. Fear is the most basic of all instincts. It beats the need to eat, to reproduce, everything - one way of knowing the level of a dog's fear is his (in)ability to eat. It's all about staying alive, even if a fear is to us illogical or if 'it's never hurt him'. That basic need of self protection can't be controlled by a pill or a gel.

The bulk of my horse work was addressing fear and from that experience I can say I have not seen anything that can magic fear away, only slow and careful training that chips away at the anticipation, that gradually reduces the level at which adrenalin kicks in, that gradually increases the animal's ability to understand and learn. The essence is to create 'I can' instead of 'I can't'.

Seriously, I would start as soon as the season's fireworks are over and desensitise. Spend the winter working through that info sheet, then next summer actively go out looking for pigeon scarers, clay shoots, etc, working out where you can be to start at an easy distance and work up.

As I said before, it is a lot of work but watching your dog snoring away on 5th November is worth it.


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Re: Fear of Fireworks

Post by gillybrent on Tue Nov 06 2018, 21:03

It's just so sad. Why is it even legal to sell fireworks to the public? If you walked around with a bag of dynamite you'd be arrested, but that's basically what they are!

And in the meantime thousands (if not millions) of pets, and wild animals, are scared senseless every year.

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