Keeping your dog safe during the Cowes Fireworks
This year the Bass Coast Council has given the green light for Family Fireworks at 9:30pm on New Years Eve at the Cows Pier. This is great news but it can be a harrowing experience for your pets – especially your dog.
One year we tied our Husky up thinking that would be the best option, even though our house has a full fence. We came home from the fireworks to find him upset but safe. It wasn’t until the next morning I realised how upset he was, There was a sheet of Corrugated Iron near where he was tied and I found puncture marks from his teeth all the way through. He actually bit through the iron in his distress.
So here are some tips, courtesy of the RSPCA, that can help your dog this year during the fire works:
– Prepare early.
– Have a chat with your local vet (there are a few on the Island) about the treatment options available for managing noise phobias. Also ask them about any new treatment options.
– Take your dog out for exercise before the fireworks start e.g. reasonably long walk, then after a couple of hours you can feed a meal. A tired and well-fed dog will likely be less anxious during the night. If you can, stay home to be with your pet.
– Let your dog be with you and try to be calm and normal. Avoid fussing over your pet excessively but try to engage them in normal activities such as playing. Reward your dog for their calm behaviour, rewards include giving dog treats and their favourite dog toy.
– Close the blinds/curtains, create a comfortable hiding place and allow your dog to go there to feel safe, put on some music or the TV to help mask the noise outside, and distract your dog with games and food.
– Dogs who panic can choke themselves on a collar or lead, so never tether your dog during these times and never use a choke chain to restrain your dog.
– Make sure your dog is micro-chipped and that your contact details are up to date on the microchip register. Also ensure they are wearing an ID tag so they can be easily returned if they accidentally escape.
– Direct supervision is important to help prevent injury or escape. If you cannot supervise your dog on the night consider making alternative arrangements so your dog will be supervised by a responsible person directly or consider boarding your dog so they will be safe.
Also in doing research for this article I came across a number of instances where dogs were pacified and happier when they hid under a bed or found a small enclosed area to lay down in. The suggestion is that in the wild they would have found a small, dark cave where they felt protected and safe. Having a similar place for your pet may just be the solution you are after.