When faced with something they fear many dogs will try to hide. You can help your dog by providing them with a safe refuge.
- Prepare the safe area well before you expect to need it so that your dog has time to get used to using it.
- Unless your dog already has a bad association with crates you can use one to form your refuge.
- Choose the location carefully. If your dog is frightened of loud noises try to choose a quiet place. Do not put the crate in an area your dog has made a negative association with.
- Cover the crate with blankets to further help insulate it from sounds and flashes from lightening or fireworks.
- Put in blankets for your dog to dig and burrow in if they wish.
- You might want to add an item of your clothing so that they have your familiar scent in their crate.
- Encourage your dog to use this new safe area. Hide tasty food treats inside for them to find and try feeding them in the crate
- Having a television or music system in the room allows you to put on background noise to mask loud noises such as fireworks.
- Installing a pheromone adapter nearby to release dog-appeasing pheromones may help.
- Once you have created the safe area it must be accessible at all times.
This advice has been provided by Emma Brown BVSc, PG Dip Applied Animal Behaviour & Welfare, MRCVS, RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Companion Animal Behaviour.
Emma has written an article for the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors which you may find useful and can be found on their website: http://www.apbc.org.uk/press/fireworks_bonfire_night
If you would like any further advice on helping your pet cope with their fears please contact the practice on 01566 772211.