Diwali – 30th of October / Halloween – 31st October /
Guy Fawkes – 5th of November / New year’s eve’ – 31st December
On the day
If your dog walks well on-leash, take her for an energy-spending walk in the afternoon, before fire-crackers start up, so she’s a little more relaxed and less energetic at home. Dogs who pull usually accumulate stress instead of releasing it and are often more energetic after a walk, so it’s best to use a relaxant alone (see below) to somewhat alleviate stress, until they have been trained to walk happily without pulling. Play a game in the garden with your dog instead if walking is difficult, for a while before sunset.
Place your dog’s favorite (soft) bed in your dog’s safe area (see below). Put a bowl of water down nearby and leave the prepared chew for her to find when she goes there.
Turn on your TV or music at a normal volume to drown out a bit of the sound.
Don’t pacify your fearful dog. You’ll be confirming to her that there is in fact something to be concerned about. Act normally and carry on with your usual routine to show her and your other pets that there’s no problem.
Don’t restrain your dog as she might become even more stressed, and don’t lock her in an enclosed area. She might panic and hurt herself.
Most dogs want to run and hide which is why a spot should be available, but if your dog becomes active (eg: pacing) try to engage her in a game if possible.
Keep puppies happily distracted with games.
Preparation a few days beforehand
Create a safe area for your dog to go to when feeling nervous. It’s best to take note of where she usually goes and to work with that. It might be under a desk in the study or to the laundry room. The spot should ideally be available to her 27/4.
Stuff a chew-toy using your dog’s favourite ingredients eg: chicken bits mixed with some liver spread. Freeze it so it lasts for longer.
Start feeding your dog’s meals in her safe area for a few days beforehand if possible. Be cheerful and make it a fun experience to help create a general good feeling there.
Also leave odd treats or a chew in the area for your dog to find randomly over the next few days to further enhance positive connotations with her dart-spot.
A natural, over the counter relaxant or a schedule medicine (for severe stress) is worth chatting to your vet about.
Have your pets micro-chipped as a precaution.