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Firework Phobia in Dogs

A significant proportion of pets, especially dogs, hate loud bangs. Every year, around Bonfire Night, lots of dogs become terrified by the noises and every year the period during which fireworks are being set off seems to get longer.

It IS possible to reduce the stress suffered by dogs, and by their owners. For many years the best that could be offered was sedation, but this will not reduce the dog's fear, it just masks its response. Then we have used tranquillisers which reduce anxiety. These are better, but their effects are somewhat unpredictable.

The most widely effective product on the market is called D.A.P. This is a natural calming agent for dogs. It is a pheromone (a natural body chemical) which is produced by nursing bitches. There are several forms of the product, the most useful for firework phobia is a plug-in vaporiser which releases the pheromone into the air (like a plug-in air freshener). By putting one of these vaporisers in a room where the dog would normally relax, or sleep, the dog is naturally calmed. It is important to introduce the vaporiser about 2 weeks before the main problem period and to reinforce the effect during bad periods of noise by playing music to a recently fed dog. The manufacturers claim that this controls signs of fear in about 80% of dogs and this is borne out by experience.

For more information, check with your vet or see Fireworkfear.co.uk.

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