Friday, 1 November 2013

Fireworks Are Not For Dogs

Our old terrier hates this time of the year (I know because he's told me). All it takes is a single firework going off and he becomes a shivering wreck, looking at me with his big puppy dog eyes, whimpering and asking for me to make the noise stop. 

Of course I can't. 

Over the years we've tried everything to calm him down; cuddles, having the radio on, talking to him in a calm voice. But none of it helps. Sometimes he  even looses the control of his bladder (which makes the cuddling interesting). The trouble is, where we are in North London the fireworks season can go on from pretty much now until January. Sometimes I wonder how people can afford to blow money up like this, but I digress.

The situation is worse when we are out at night and the terrier has to cope on his own. On our return we quite often find a wet patch on the carpet, but worse is the thought of the terror our little dog has had to endure on his own.

This year, when I saw we're going to have the return of the Alexandra Palace fireworks, which is very close to us, I decided to look for something that I could give the terrier to calm down. A dog Calpol if you like. British parents will know this children's medicine as a miracle worker: it takes away pain and makes your children into charming little angels (ok, not quite).

But instead of a medicine, I found a plug-in diffuser called Adaptil with a smell that only dogs can sense, and which emulates the scent of their mothers. You can plug in this device whenever you think you might need your dog to be calm. And ladies and gentlemen it works!

We've only had the occasional nasty pang or two so far, but judging by what an amazing effect this thing has on our (still at the age of ten!) hyperactive terrier, I'm hopeful that the Guy Fawkes and New Year's celebrations won' t be as dramatic as they usually are for our little 'stinky'.


germangreeneyedmonster said...

poor little doggy...never will understand how people can waste money on noisy and smelly firewroks like that, never! Fingers crossed that it will help him.

Helena Halme said...

Thank you! Tomorrow's the Big Night of the Ally Pally fireworks, so fingers crossed! Hx

Catherine said...

My dog is terrified as well. 2 years ago she was climbing on top of me and digging her claws into me. Since last year I have been giving her 10mg of amitriptyline during this hideous season. She weighs about 22 kg. I could give her more but 10mg seems sufficient. It really calms her down. We haven't them going off in the street behind us yet though this year.

Helena Halme said...


I considered medication but thought I'd try this first because our terrier is so old. It makes him very calm an sleepy so good so far. If not, I will look into that medicine, great to know there are alternatives. Hx

Anonymous said...

Hallo Helena,
Thank you for your tip.
I have got 2 small dogs and they suffer the same fear of fireworks. However it happens only around New Year time, it's so annoying. I am going to find the "mother-smell" thing in my country, hoping it will help them too.

Thank you again:)

ps. love your blog!

Catherine Steele said...

My dog is 10 years old this month, and I gave her 10mg last night and there were some loud ones going off. She noticed them, wasn't happy, but she wasn't shaking so I was pleased. I think I got more upset than she was, my heart was pounding every time a loud one went off. I have just given her another 10mg at about 1600.

Helena Halme said...

Elwira, Here in the UK the season is longer because of Bonfire Night falls in November and people just tend to have fireworks parties after that up till New Year. Bad for dogs! I'm pleased you like my blog - thank you! Hx

Helena Halme said...

Catherine, we had fireworks at the cricket ground next to us last night too, and our terrier wasn't happy but just like your dog, he didn't shake, just wanted to get onto sofa (where he's officially not allowed) for a cuddle. He was OK, though, but I fear tonight's Ally Pally event. :-( Hx