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Preparing for fireworks

**FREE FIREWORK ADVICE**

Firework season is upon us! Preparing now is key to helping your furry friends get through the season with little to no stress.

Most dog's have a phobia of fireworks because it isn't something we can expose them too regularly enough for them to become habituated (be accustomed) to. The flashing lights, loud squeals and bangs of fireworks cause major anxiety.

Additionally, previous negative experience to them will also insight fear.

In order to prepare them for the season below are some tips that you may find useful.

*Desensitisation through frequent exposure in the build up - play the sound of fireworks via YouTube, play the sounds low enough not to scare your dog but jut enough to get their attention. Expose your dog to this a couple times per day. Increase the volume slowly over the course of the next few weeks in small increments. If your dog shows signs of distress, decrease the volume. Remember to encourage and praise your dog. Use a cue word such as "calm" each time your dog's displays such behaviour. You should stay calm, and keep overall energy levels low.

*Walk your dog in daylight hours and give your dog plenty of mental stimulation through sniff search games and food puzzles for example. A tired dog will be much less likely to react.

*Provide your dog with a safe space. This could be a den of blankets or even a crate for them to go in

*Play calming music - there are many dog calming options on YouTube and Spotify otherwise, Classical music is an option via classicalfm.

*Be with your dog - staying with them is a comfort for them. Again, you should remain calm and keep energy levels low. If you are able, engage your pet in games and activities they enjoy to keep them distracted.

*Pheromones - there are a large number of plug-ins, collars and sprays that help calm your dog. This should be started a month before the fireworks are expected to begin and coincide with all of the above training methods.

NOTE: it is possible for a dog to develop a fear of fireworks when there wasn't one previously. There could be a number of reasons for this including pain. It is important to remember to speak with a vet to ensure the well being of your dog in the build up.

For more information, 1-1 session and consultation or anything else please contact FBDS.

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