Poor dog is terrified of the smell of smoke - what can we do?

(6 Posts)
FairyAnn Thu 11-Oct-18 08:30:31

We have a rescue dog and, over the past 10 months since we got her, we've helped her get used to lots of things that frightened her; the kettle, the oven, a black vase on the window sill, rubber toys, etc...

However, she is really struggling with the smell of smoke. This includes bonfires and BBQs, and she won't even go in the garden if a neighbour is having a BBQ. This gets to the point where she gets upset because she's so desparate to go to the toilet, but her fear keeps her indoors.

Normally with her anxious behaviour, we've done very slow exposure to get her used to the thing she's afraid of, but obviously, this is hard to do with smoke. Plus, it's not just nerves - she is really scared of it.

I don't want to push her, but I also hate watching her get upset because she wants to go out but can't.

Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
Lynne1Cat Thu 11-Oct-18 08:56:29

Ask your vet. There may be a sedative or calming routine he can suggest

missbattenburg Thu 11-Oct-18 10:30:10

OP, do you think it is the smoke or that she has associated the smell of smoke with something scarier (e.g. fireworks)?

FairyAnn Thu 11-Oct-18 10:51:35

We don't know her full history as she came to us at 3.5 years old, so it's possible something happened with fire that has traumatised her. Just want her to feel safe in her own garden, which will be increasingly hard over the next few weeks with bonfire night coming up

OP’s posts: |
SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Thu 11-Oct-18 12:09:46

Have you tried the DAP collar? We were given one by the Dogs' Trust, when we adopted our rescue dog from them - she is somewhat neurotic, but it did help.

Spamfrittersforeveryone Thu 11-Oct-18 12:11:41

Oh bless her heart.
I would ask the vet if there’s anything she can have to relax her, then take her out in it repeatedly but just for a minute or two each time, with you, on leads, lots of reassurance and praise etc.

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