Helping your dog recover from fireworks
There are so many dogs that are terrified of fireworks. Given the current COVID situation this year, it means fireworks have been and will continue to be going off in various back gardens close to your home, as the public displays are unable to go ahead.
Lots of people are aware of things to do to help their dog cope in the moment, such things like:
Bach Flower Rescue remedy
Pet remedy spray
Ttouch body wraps
Calming music such as relax my dog
medication from the vet to help lightly sedate dogs with severe panic and distress.
a safe, dark place
covering windows to remove visual
playing the radio or having the telly on to drown out the noise
Lots of things most of us are aware of how to help our dogs when the fireworks are being let off.
However, had you given much thought as to what happens afterwards? An episode of extreme stress and take a few days to leave the body. By this, we mean recovery. During stressful episodes or panic attacks, the body gets ready to cope, survival techniques. This is the fight or flight or freeze response. For this to happen, the dog's body will go under several changes.
Blood pumps around the body quicker so more oxygen can be pushed to the legs for a quicker getaway.
The immune system and digestive system are suppressed as all the bodies energies are going to getting prepared. There are chemical and hormonal changes with a huge increase in stress hormones.
This is not good for our dogs overall wellbeing. We need to help them recover quickly so as they can get back to neutral.
So what can we do?
Free work: I LOVE FREE WORK for so many reasons. Ttouch is something which has come from Ttouch practice, it allows the dog's movements to be slowed down and gives the practitioner a great insight into what the dog is comfortable with texturally and what they may struggle with, they can look in-depth at posture and pick up on areas of pain and discomfort. As a default to this Free Work has proven to have many other amazing benefits to our dogs. Confidence building and reducing stress and anxiety. Win, Win!
Check out ACE COnnections on Facebook if you would like to learn more about free work. In the files section, you will see articles which explain Free Work in more detail. There are some great videos on their also.
Sniffy Walks: Sniffing for dogs helps release happy hormones and therefore has a relaxing effect. Take your dog out not for physical exercise to tire them out but as an enrichment activity to help them destress. Allow your dog to chose which way you go, and stay with him should he choose to sniff the same patch of grass or lamppost for five minutes.
Teach a trick: Fun for you an
d him. I imagine you are familiar with that amazing feeling you get when you have accomplished something new, learnt a new skill. You feel great! Our dogs experience similar feelings when their owners share in the joy of them learning a new trick or obedience command. There are some excellent trick training videos on YouTube, be sure to choose force-free positive training.
This book is excellent, lots to help keep you busy during the lockdown.
Massage: Who doesn't like a nice massage? Your dog will love it too. Simple circular motions on the chest, Ttouch work can all help relax your dog. Check out the following links for useful videos.
So there you have it. Just a couple of things to help your dog reset after fireworks.
Thanks for reading.