How to help your dog survive bonfire night
There are not many dogs that enjoy loud and unexpected noises so for most dog owners, bonfire night and the period around it is not a pleasant one. Whilst we cannot prevent neighbours and local events having fireworks we can take steps to make this time slightly less frightening for our pets.
Firstly ensure all windows are shut and curtains are closed so that less sound and light from the fireworks can enter the house and choose a room to spend your evening in so you can make that one room dog friendly.
When frightened, dogs like places to hide so provide a small den for them retreat to. Use blankets and cushions to lessen the noise and play some familiar smells in the den such as a couple of small toys.
Try to distract your dog from the fireworks. Buy a new toy to keep them busy, play with them more and keep either the television on or the radio on slightly higher than normal.
Keep calm yourself and not get frustrated with the fireworks, your dog will pick up on this and it will make them feel on edge and frightened. Instead just act yourself with your dog as this will put them at ease.
If you dog barks at the fireworks, do not punish them as they will not understand what a firework is. Simply calm your dog down and reassure them that everything is okay and they are safe.
If you know of a local firework event, plan to spend the entire evening with your pet, leaving your dog alone whilst being so nervous and frightened could lead to them to injure themselves. Having you there will give them extra security and make them feel safe.
Plan your walks and toilet trips around the fireworks, walking your dog earlier in the day decreases the chances of fireworks being setting off and scaring your dog. Take your dog out to the toilet just before dark or before any arranged firework displays.
Feed your dog earlier than the fireworks incase then are too nervous to eat when they are going off and include some carbohydrates such as pasta or rice as this will make them sleepy by the evening.
Follow these simple steps and you will have a calmer evening with your dog whilst the firework season is on. Remember never to take your dog to a firework display or have a display at home whilst your dog is there.