5 tips to keep your dog at ease this Bonfire Night
Fireworks are great fun for all of the family – except for our dogs.
The RSPA reports that in the last five years, they received over 1500 reports of pets cowering from fireworks. They estimate 62% of dogs, 54% of cats and 55% of horses show signs of fear at the sound of fireworks.
Campaigns to ban private displays go around every year, but so far, no action has yet been taken.
For us, it’s heartbreaking to see dogs in distress, but there are ways owners can ease anxiety. Here are our five tips:
Keep them in at night
Fireworks are rarely let off during the day, so do any walks or time outside during daylight hours – or bring your dog into us and we can ensure your that he/she has one of the best and most sociable days of their life.
Ensure all doors, window and flaps are closed and locked, so pets can’t escape if frightened.
Make a safe haven
It’s likely your dog will already have their favourite spot in the house. Do all you can to protect this spot as they will probably head here when they are scared. Make it cosy and sprinkle a few of their favourite toys and treats among the blankets to keep them entertained.
Try to muffle sounds from outside by closing curtains or putting cushions or draught excluders around window and doors. Playing gentle music such as white noise can also help as can putting the TV on.
Go by their cues
Dogs are very good at communicating their needs.
Your dog may act like they want extra attention, or they may prefer to be left alone. Follow their cues and give them extra fuss or respect their boundaries. If they want to go to a specific location, eat at different times, sleep more, let them.
Don’t punish them
Fireworks can be really traumatic for dogs, so they might behave in different ways. They might make a lot more noise than usual, they might scratch, or they might even have toileting accidents around the house. This can be frustrating but remain calm with them. If you punish them for this, it can instil more fear and make these behaviours worse.
Speak to us
We may be able to recommend something to help keep your pet calm. Pheromone sprays or plug ins disperse calming chemicals into the air which can help your pet to relax. If your pet has a history of extreme distress at fireworks, your vet may even prescribe medication to help get them through it.
If you need any extra guidance with your pet’s behaviour, please get in touch and please…stay safe.