It’s that time of year again. Everyone laments the awfulness of fireworks and their impacts on dogs (and lots of other animals too), posts illustrating the panic and suffering of so many dogs are shared and shared, yet, all this has become normalised.
Dogs need our proactive intervention. Bottom line.
They don’t need more over-the-counter, herbal, “natural” remedies, more alternative approaches to modification such as wraps or vests, and crappy advice to ignore suffering dogs or apply other aversives to these scenarios.
We are waaaay too late to do a whole lot of effective desensitisation or counterconditioning; for these programs to have beneficial effects, when done properly, we would need to start in the summer when we can find the longest duration during the year without fireworks.
However, ad hoc, in-the-moment and well-timed reward-parties can be helpful for some dogs, like Decker:
(Please note the above clips have fireworks and/or squeaky ball sounds so adjust your volume accordingly.)
There are still plenty of things we can do to prepare for fright night.
For in-depth advice to construct a plan for your dog, read this: Dying of Fright.
Here’s our quick tips for surviving Halloween, 2021, but you gotta start NOW.
You can do this; you can make sure that Halloween is a safer and more comfortable time for your dog, and for you.
Put your plan in place from today and talk to your dog’s vet as soon as you possibly can.