Keeping your dog safe and happy on Bonfire Night

The 5th of November is Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night, and has been celebrated with huge bonfires and extravagant firework displays for over 400 years. With the event fast approaching, many dog owners find themselves anxiously anticipating the occasion, and the weekend on which celebrations are held, because of the anxiety and stress brought on by the louds bangs and bright flashes.

Fireworks can be terrifying for our four-legged friends and upsetting for owners who find themselves having to comfort their dogs through the scary experience. This year, we’re providing our 6 useful tips to make the evening stress-free; there are lots of measures you can take to make these bright and noisy celebrations less frightening for your furry friends.

  1. Plan your dog-walks and activities to ensure your they don’t need to be outside in the evening when the fireworks will be let off. In the evening, make sure you close doors and so they can’t escape when they are frightened.
  2. Close any curtains and windows when it starts to get dark, to muffle the ‘bangs’ and hide the ‘flashes’ of the fireworks.
  3. Give your dog a ‘safe place’ in the house and somewhere to hide if they want to. Definitely do not to chastise your dog if they do become anxious and try to hide, this will only worsen their fear of fireworks, meaning that comforting them in the future will be more difficult.
  4. Comfort your furry-friend or play a game with them inside, but only if they are happy to do so. This will provide the perfect distraction to the noisy celebrations. Additionally, if you ignore the fireworks yourself, your they may be more inclined to ignore them too.
  5. Play calming music in the background to create a peaceful environment for you dog. There are numerous playlists and radio stations that feature music for dogs, especially around Bonfire night.
  6. Treatments for severe firework phobia are available. Talk to your vet; they may suggest using pheromone diffusers or seeking advice from a clinical animal behaviourist.