Woburn Vet: Fireworks Pet Therapy Available

4 November 2017, 07:30

Fireworks posters at Greensands Vets in Woburn

By Patrick Hildred

For many people Bonfire Night may have lost its sparkle once you got a pet. But did you know you can help them cope, using therapy?

40 per cent of pet owners in the East of England say their animal friends are scared of fireworks.

But a 'Scary Sounds' therapy is offered by vets to help you - help your pet - to overcome their phobia.

Emma Pillow from Greensands Vets in Woburn Sands told Heart it involves playing your pet firework soundtracks.

"You play them very very softly, very gently, so that the dog can just notice that they're there.

"But you do something really pleasurable at the same time, so you feed them or you play with them.

"And you gradually increase the sounds up slightly - you just turn it up a notch - not to the point where the dog gets distressed.

"And hopefully by doing that you can get to the point where they hear a car backfiring or they can hear a loud noise and not be terrified anymore because they associate it with something good."

Although it's too late to start the therapy on your pets for this weekend, you can start desensitizing them for next year's celebrations.

Other advice you can use this weekend includes drowning out the loud noises with the radio or TV and setting up a cosy den for your pet to retreat to.

"Allow your pet to go wherever they would feel comfortable," Emma says.

"So if you're dog wants to sit right by you and shake and shiver, that's fine, just let them do it.

"But if they want to take themselves upstairs or hide in a corner - as long as they're not doing anything dangerous, that's absolutely fine."