Many dog owners dread the arrival of Autumn as it also means firework season. Normally calm, happy dogs can be transformed into quivering wrecks when the flashes and bangs start. For some dogs their fear is confined to fireworks, for others it also applies to thunder, gun shots, whistles, electronic beeping etc or can be transferred to these things having started with fireworks. There are lots of theories trying to explain this fear. some claim it’s an associated smell ie. gunpowder, others say that the very sensitive hearing of our dogs mean that certain noises actually cause pain.
Last year I was asked to massage a retired greyhound who displayed severe anxiety to fireworks. She would pace and shake and drool whenever she heard them. I began working with her in early October and she received three massages before the end of October. On bonfire night itself her owners were able to use the calming massage techniques I’d shown them and reported that the dog was much calmer and had started coming to them to be “stroked” when she heard noises which upset her as she seemed to realise that the calming massage techniques made her feel better.
I call that a success!
If you’d like to try massage to calm your dog, then call me on 07761 826736 for a chat
Other things to try
- Firework desensitising CDs – grdaully get your dog used to the sounds in a safe environment
- Calming plug-ins
- Calming sprays – can be used on their beds or on your clothes eg Pet Remedy
- Thunder Shirts
- Providing a quiet calm place for them to retreat to
- Have music or the TV on in the house to disguise the sounds outside
- Take your dog somewhere quieter if you know the noises will be really bad on any particular dates