Preparing for Fireworks
No, not what happens before you put the Christmas Rota up in the staffroom. We’re talking today about actual fireworks which in theory happen in November but in reality seem to start much sooner. How can you get all those procrastinators to act now if their dog has firework fear?
Few of the solutions to firework fear are instant but we all know that people will be flooding into the practice in the days before the event looking for just that – an instant answer. Neglect the fearful reaction and some dogs will go on to develop an outright phobia – this isn’t just a one-off problem and it’s likely to get worse in subsequent years.
What can we do to help pet owners understand that they need to think about how to tackle this problem now – not on the fourth of November?
- If you are sending out regular reminders over the next few months include a message about fireworks and the need to act NOW.
- Let pet owners know that modern calming solutions don’t sedate their dog or change his or her personality – so they can be used to help dogs cope with both day to day challenges (such as those random single fireworks that sometimes go off during October) and more frightening events.
- There’s huge choice and the solution doesn’t have to be medicinal. As well as natural supplements, there’s also the option of behavioural therapies such as counter conditioning and desensitisation if pet owners start now.
- The closer the ‘trigger’ event becomes, the fewer options there are and if pet owners can plan ahead, they are more likely to notice longer term benefits.
- Think about talking to your local newspaper editor about whether they would accept an article from the practice or send along a reporter to do an interview about fireworks and pet fears and phobias. It’s estimated that 45% of dogs show firework fear and 24% of households own dogs** – that means around 1 in 10 households in your area will be affected.
- Make sure people know that firework fear tends to get worse year on year – so if their dog had a bad experience last year, this year could be even worse. Not only that but unless they act, this pattern will be repeated for every single year for the remainder of their dog’s life. There really is no need for a much-loved pet to suffer in this way.
- Consider holding a special event. Our Happy Dogs, Happy Days campaign can help you raise awareness of the issues in the waiting room and beyond and our special promotional offer on YuCALM Dog is Buy 5 get 1 free, or Buy 10 get 2 free – which is really handy if you need to stock up. Download the order form here.