November 01, 2019
Used to love them with an almost childlike joy and fascination as they exploded across the sky....now that I have dogs I f*cking hate them.
I have friends who recount tales of how their husband drove 200 miles to buy some incredible fireworks that have the biggest starburst, the hugest bang and all I think is...wanker.
With the advent of silent fireworks, yes there really is such a thing, now being used in compassionate towns all over Europe, there is no reason for the absolute purgatory that dogs, kids and the elderly have to go through every year.
Here in the US, we dog owners suffer on New Years Eve, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, sometimes even Memorial Day.
In the UK, even though it’s normally just one event a year on November the 5th, the misery often starts the week before and goes on well into the following few days.
Bonfire night is a tradition for us English folk, where we commemorate the failure of Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James the First on 5th November 1605.
Ever since that day, we light bonfires on that date every year to celebrate the King surviving the attempt on his life and burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes (kids make them out of straw, old clothes and various bits and pieces) on the bonfire.
Hardly anyone remembers the history behind it, most people just use it as an excuse to have a great night out with their friends, latterly with the hellish addition of fireworks.
So.....history lesson over, what the hell do we do about these loud, scary things that ruin our dogs lives for a few days every year?
Well, first things first, be prepared.
For those of you who are wonderful dog owners and have a really hard time with fireworks (or thunder even, as both of these situations tend to invoke the same responses in dogs that are noise phobic) have you ever thought about desensitizing the dog to the offending sound for a more long term solution?
Starting at very low levels, increasing bit by bit over time, playing a desensitizing sound CD while you engage your dog in some pleasurable activity like a game, or massage or hand feeding, or all of the above has an incredible success rate.
Yes, it takes planning and a little time but the benefits last a lifetime.
For severely firework and thunder phobic dogs it can be the $10 answer to a very expensive problem. CDs of this sort are available on Amazon and downloadable as MP3s.
As promised, for those of you who can’t get hold of Pet Releaf CBD oil, here’s a nice suggestion that a friend of mine, Shannon Macy told me about.
Shannon sells Doterra essential oils and I will be honest I always thought that essential oils were a bit of a joke when I first got approached to try them. I had visions of idiotic ‘flower children’ types suggesting lavender and camomile oils as cures for severed limbs and nuclear holocaust burns, but the reality is that essential oils work very well on dogs.
Shannon sent her storm phobic to me this weekend and I was very impressed at his level of calmness when a few grumbles of thunder rumbled past. She had been using Copaiba oil on him, along wth Doterra oils ‘balance’ and serenity’ along his spine.
Result? Calm easy going dog all weekend.
You can get hold of Shannon, who is a wealth of knowledge on essential oils at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s always happy to give advice to my clients and those interested in more holistic solutions to common dog problems.
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