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There Will Be Fireworks! – Sara Bridgeman

This month we are heading towards the clocks going back and the long, light evenings of summer are already a memory. But we are also heading towards some exciting times in the year and my motto for October is “BE PREPARED”.

If you have brought a puppy or new dog home this year it will be your first time navigating Bonfire Night. And we all know that fireworks are being set off more and more each year to celebrate birthdays and other events rather than just the remembrance of Guy Fawkes’ plan to blow up the original Houses of Parliament.

Bonfire Night this year is on Friday but chances are that most villages will have a large bonfire and fireworks display on the Saturday, regulations allowing especially as last year people had to celebrate at home. So the noises are going to be very loud! And you need to get your dog ready now in October. There are lots of CDs or downloads of firework noises that you can start to play for your pup but they really don’t sound quite the same as that BOOM in the sky.

My dogs are not bothered at all. In fact, my old lad Bertie loved going out and walking round the block to watch the fireworks. Edie and Rupert have never been bothered much either. How have I achieved this calmness? Here are my tips for keeping your dog relaxed.

  • Don’t plan to go out and leave your new puppy at home while you go to a display. Leaving them on their own could cause more problems if they panic. They could hurt themselves or damage something in the house especially if a firework goes off very close to the house.
  • Walk them early in the day during daylight.
  • Give them a nice dinner – their favourite – and make sure that it’s something nice and settling. I use 50/50 wet and dry which helps with their digestion.
  • Buy some nice big chews like pigs ears, dental sticks or something similar for them to concentrate on.
  • Pull the curtains and get their blanket or basket ready for them to settle in once it gets dark.
  • Don’t ignore the noises but just reassure them that it’s okay. Lots of hugs and cuddles is fine.
  • If your dog is very reactive visit your vet for some tranquillisers in October to get them used to the medication.
  • Alternatively, come and see me at Smithbrook Kilns to talk about the Dorwest Herbs natural products I use for dogs with anxiety and stress to keep them calm.

Best of all – don’t panic! Sara, Edie and Rupert.

PS. Rupert qualified for Crufts 2022 since my last column! We’re off to Birmingham in March!

Contact me, Sara Bridgeman on: 07504 925341 or visit my website at: www.rewardsdogtraining.co.uk

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