Get your dog through ‘Fireworks’ ….8 tips I can share

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There are many things that frighten our pets but none so deliberate as Fireworks.

Bonfire / Guy Fawkes night, birthdays, Chinese New Year, Diwali, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and more… Yet whilst many of us are ooo-ing and aaah-ing at the pretty spectacular our poor pets are often beside themselves with utter panic.
You see, it’s not just the flashes. It’s not just the bangs. One thing I never realised – and I bet you didn’t – it’s the vibration!

Animals are tuned into nature.
Flashes = lightening = storms = look for safety. Bangs are the same = thunder. The vibration through the air all but sends them insane as their sensitive ears AND bodies pick up this unknown phenomenon.

Just imagine (or remember) something you have never done before – going on a plane for the first time, going in a glass lift when you’re nervous of heights, your first driving lesson, even perhaps a roller coaster ride. The first time you do something like that your heart races, your pulse pounds in your ear, you feel slightly nauseous, yet you know that at any point you can stop what you’re doing.

Well for our dogs they have all of those feelings of fight or flight but no real comprehension – they DON’T KNOW it won’t hurt them, or that it isn’t a massive storm rolling in… they can’t understand and they can’t stop it happening.

I have learned that we have to understand them and work with them to a more comfortable situation.

There are many dogs who never fret and that’s usually because their experience of such ‘danger’ was dealt with matter of fact and calmly. Most though have some degree of discomfort with the whole fireworks idea.

Having adopted 2 Romanian rescued dogs I see both sides. Tess, the newbie at 6 month before her first exposure simply chewed her chew or slept through each night – only a little anxious when she desperately needed to go out to pee and someone set offf a loud banging firework. To counteract this, AS SOON AS SHE’D DONE HER BUSINESS we got her in and instructed her to sit on her mat. No treat, no fuss, just back to the mat with her chew toy. If we’re not bothered she isn’t. We did not leave her out any length of time to become agitated.

Now for the big baby Annie, coming up to three years of age. She was 9 months before she was rescued and had lived out on the cold streets, in fields in storms, no pack, no protection, then months in a public shelter and UK kennels. She came to us terrified of everything. Rustling leaves sent her into a panic, cars going by freaked her out… even the TV caused a panting and hiding effect the first week we had her. So no surprise Fireworks send her panic rating off the scale.
I didn’t want to have a constantly drugged up dog every time celebrations were afoot so I investigated, google, read books, took advice from vets and friends with experience and now I share to you to see if you and you dog can benefit.

1) DON’T tell you dog he/she is a good dog when they come to you for reassurance. This, I have learned does not as we think reassure. It reinforces that fear is good. The exact opposite to what we want to achieve.

2) DON’T try treats and food to calm your dog down unless they would normally be having food at the time. Again, treats for nerves say it’s ok to be nervous. Plus, if you dog is very upset it’s likely to give them stomach pains too.

3) DON’T EVER shout at your dog even if they go toilet inside or go into a room that is “out of bounds” … They are not using their knowledge they are using their instinct and fight or flight = release bladder/bowels and hide if you can’t run. We’ve all heard the saying “so scared he pooed himself (or variants of)”. Well that’s EXACTLY what happens to your dog.

4) DO act as normally as possible, no extra fuss, no treats etc UNLESS your dog is comfortable with that. What you do want to do is say “hey I’m here, you’re safe” but without the “it’s ok to panic” message.

5) DO try and walk your dog, a long walk or good runaround before dusk when you are expecting fireworks to happen. Exercise not only settles them, but sends a calming hormone round the body and so stress levels are zero to start with. A stressed dog to start with will be hyper-stressed later.

6) DO try and invest in a Thundershirt if you can. It will not work for all dogs but I went through literally hundreds of reviews before I paid a hefty £40 out and the majority (I’d say 98%) said it worked for their pet. It works for Annie. Basically it wraps around them like swaddling a baby and they have a sense of security from it. I would recommend it.

7) DO look at using technology such as DVD’s and CD’s that are available playing sounds to desensitise your dog. You play a few minutes every day and your dog gets used to the noise. They work for many and come highly recommended but I had no success with Annie.

8) DO research and use herbal remedies. There are doggy versions of Kalms, diffusers to plug in, sachets of mixtures to put with food. They on their own will not probably solve the issue but combined with a steady routine, a Thundershirt, exercise and a place to hide, your dog should be a lot happier when coping with the fact that we think loud bangs and flashes are fun.

Last year Annie spent 3 weeks freaking out at everything that wasn’t quiet and ordinary each time fireworks were going off around us. This year we have had one night of panic (because I forgot the Thundershirt until fireworks had started). Last night – 2 weeks into the flashing and banging, Annie, no shirt, no herbs, just a long walk and a steady routine, just lay on her mat and dozed.!! SUCCESS with my baby girl does make me smile.
I hope you have some success with your furry friend without resorting to a trip to the vet, but if the vets it is, at least you tried.

https://www.thundershirt.co.uk/

Thundershirt

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=13043
for plug in diffusers

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=8098
for herbal tablets to calm.

http://www.soundtherapy4pets.co.uk/scary.html
sound therapy

Love your dog, keep your dog safe and you have a friend forever.

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URGENT REQUEST – organised search for Tutu MACCLESFIELD SK10-23 UK

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SEARCH PARTY TOMORROW FOR TUTU… 10am on Saturday 8th November at The Old Brickworks, Bakestondale Rd, Pott Shrigley, Macclesfield SK10 5RX (end of Moorside Lane)

Please come and help us find this lovely little boy. He will be cold, wet and hungry.

contact 07774005951 Ann Pursey for more information

tutu lost

Can £1/$1/€1 get you anything worthwhile today – YES it can.

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Dear Readers – an appeal to all of you who love dogs and have a spare note or coin in your bank account.

I don’t usually do money appeals, not via this media anyway, but this is a very special case.  This is because HUMANS have ruined the life of a dog.  I hear you think it.. “Oh no not again, someone touting for cash!” Well, I’m not ashamed to say – on this occasion yes I am.

Here’s the story of Amil, Continue reading

Joe died but his death is still carrying a message

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It’s 19th June 2014. Joe died 6 months ago on 23rd December 2013.

Joe was a 6 year old beautiful boy taken from us after only 10 months by a cruel twist .. an accident .. lack of information .. so I started a mini campaign.  And I’ve just read about another poor soul, a friend of a friend, having to wait to see if his dog will survive a stick injury.  Heartbreaking.

Ok so writing about it channelled my grief but the whole thing goes beyond that.

What was to be thought a rare freaky accident turned out to be all too familiar to vets and families worldwide.  What was thought to be a personal kick in the nuts turns out to be a case of ignorance is most definitely not bliss.

I received hundreds of comments on my first post after Joe died. I received hundreds of facebook and twitter comments too.  The current WP views are at over 139000 which is great, and yet not enough.  Dogs are still being treated for nasty stick injuries, vets see a few each month.  I can’t preach and stay stop it, but I can let anyone and everyone who cares know what a potential danger stick throwing is: better than being totally ingnorate of the risks.

What happened to Joe, and happens to dogs all over the world at a frighteningly all to often occasion was borne of ignorance, stupidity, even years of  “that’s what we do with dogs”.  We simply never thought about the consequences it could bring.

Historically, when man decided to have dogs as pets and not merely working companions (not all that long ago in the UK) chasing a stick was a favourite game.  We’ve all seen the old adverts in faded yellows and reds with a boy, stick in hand and his faithful dog pantng happily as he waits for the ‘toy’ to be thrown.  Why should we think it’s dangerous? We see things like celebs on the One Show with their dog, happily throwing it a stick, or in videos…. Dogs and stick throwing seems synonimous

These are but a few stories of reasons why we should try and change this……………..

https://mrsskeats.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/dont-let-another-good-dog-die-needlessly/

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/dog-saved-stick-throat-scare-6645241

http://www.croftreferrals.co.uk/news  read Flick’s story

The list goes on.

Please think twice before you throw a stick for your dog to chase.

In memory of a beautiful dog, whose life will not ever have been in vain, but will mean so much more if we save others from pain.

In memory of a beautiful dog, whose life will not ever have been in vain, but will mean so much more if we save others from pain.

 

Don’t let another good dog die needlessly

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This page is set up as a memorial and as a legacy for Joe- Boy, a lovely collie dog rescued by us and loved by us until a freak accident took him away.  We intend to stop as many people as we can, and as many dogs as we can, from suffereing as we have.

Joe LOVED sticks! Joe would dance in front of one he had rooted out from somewhere.  His eyes were bright, his paws would pad the floor and he couldn’t wait to chase the wood.  Mostly I’d kick it along the floor but at times people would throw it and he’d gleefully chase, find and return until he could barely breathe, he’d ran around so much.  Then home for a long sleep.

From the first day we met him at FAITH Animal Rescue, in Norfolk, he chased sticks.  We walked along a country lane to see if we ‘liked’ him.  He didn’t care – where’s the stick? He won our hearts and we found a stick, threw it and won his.

Joe was already around 6 years old, a beautiful face with pale brown eyes and an adorable grin.  He’d obviously been used to sticks.  Perhaps a million times he’d chased after an innocent looking peice of wood.

22nd of December 2013 that changed!

Joe was out with his adopted sister Annie and a family member.  The stick was thrown, once, twice, twenty times…. then disaster fell like a sword, cutting short the fun, and very soon his life.

Joe caught the stick as it fell, it went down his throat, ripped his windpipe….Joe collapsed.  He managed to get up and the family member got him home.

A trip to the vets, 3 times in 36 hours, £700 later we were still unable to save him.  It was too much, the pain too bad.  He lost his strength, lost his will and one and a half days after he caught his last ever stick, he left us.

Now, if EVERYONE who can to post this line on their timeline on social media or via blogs does so, whether you have dogs or not, you will HELP me, in Joe’s name to save another dog, and another family from going through the pain.

Use a proper toy with your dog and keep your best friend with you for longer… and please don’t think “It’ll never happen….” it does…., it has …… but we can stop it from happening again.  PLEASE pass this message across the world.  I’ve had almost 500 shares on FAITH Animal Rescue facebook page alone – that’s potentially 500 dogs and families saved from the agony or this situation.  Every share of the message may prevent just one more…………………….Imaget