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Fireworks Freak Outs

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Do the sonic booms from Dubai’s fireworks have your dog quaking in his boots with every BOOM or CRACK resonating through the sky? If so, be prepared for the record-breaking New Year’s Eve fireworks tonight. Short of placing him in a soundproof room, what’s an exasperated owner of a dog suffering from pyrotechnophobia to do?

Well, a few methods are available but some require time, so too late for tonight, unfortunately. So what to do on short notice? First, take him for a REALLY long walk before midnight in the duplicitous attempt to literally exhaust him; a tired dog is less likely to react to all that noise. A snug shirt that “hugs” your dog may offer relief by slowing his breathing and calming him down (though this calming is likely a consequence of the restriction he feels). But when he does exhibit fear, what he needs most is a calm, confident vibe. Often he’ll mimic your behaviour, so if you’re relaxed, he’ll probably relax too. Finally, as hard as it might be, no affection when the fear sets in; yes, the trembling and whining do make you want to hug him close, but nurturing his anxiety might be the only result.

There are rarely any sure answers for this situation, but consider these suggestions, experiment, and hopefully when the clock strikes midnight, he’ll start off the New Year on the right paw!

 

Booming Tips

  • Take a Hike – before the festivities begin, take the longest, most vigorous walk ever with your dog.
  • Wrap Him Up – a snug shirt or jacket donned well BEFORE the fireworks may help keep him calm.
  • Lock Him Up – well not really, but do give him a safe and secure space with a familiar bed. Play some soothing music even and leave a light on!

 

Goodbye Pet Corner!

After two years of writing the Pet Corner column for 7 Days, today's article is our last. Boo hoo?? Definitely! Boo hoo HOO!! It really is ruff to say goodbye. But we won't howl too much, and you don't either: we'll continue posting our weekly stories on our website blog and in Facebook. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

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