Preventing a Fireworks Frenzy: Desensitisation and Counterconditioning
Some pets may be sensitive to noises such as the sound of fireworks. These pets will have a heightened fight or flight response to these sounds causing a behavioural response.
In order to help correct this behavioural response, desensitisation and counterconditioning approaches can be used.
- Firstly the process where the aim is the lower how sensitive they are to noises, otherwise known as desensitisation. Start by playing the noise your pet is sensitive too, such as fireworks at a low volume, gradually increasing by a small level each time, each time waiting for them to settle. If they become agitated then reduce the volume down to a volume where they settled again. This process is ideally completed on a gradual basis over a period of few weeks, then can begin implementing counterconditioning.
- Once the densensitisation stage is completed. We can adapt this to include the counterconditioning process, by which we make a positive association to the sounds your pet is sensitive to. This can be done by providing rewards whilst playing the sounds your pet is sensitive to in order to start to reinforce positivity with these sounds. Make sure these are rewards that your pet really likes!
These processes do require time to counteract these behaviours. If you have any further questions regarding the fireworks season please do not hesitate to contact us.