Keeping your dog safe on bonfire night!
Many animals find fireworks scary. It is estimated that 45 per cent of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks.
It doesn’t have to be that way though, so don’t ignore the problem, here are some handy tips to help your dog relax and not get stressed whilst fireworks are going off.
• Provide a den or a hiding place where your dog can go to feel safe at all times, and give praise when they are ready to come out.
• Do not punish your dog for bad behaviour as this will only make them more distressed. Do not cuddle and comfort them as this may make the problem worse, thinking that you are fearful too. Instead, act as normal and praise calm behaviour
• Provide distractions while the fireworks are happening, like playing with new toys or chews and turn on the TV and keep curtains closed to mask the noise and black out flashes from the fireworks.
• Do not leave your pet alone when fireworks are going off, even if you are nipping to the shop, as they can panic and injure themselves. With a familiar person around they will benefit from the increased sense of security and the comfort this gives them.
• Keep windows, doors, cat flaps closed during firework night to reduce the risk of your pets escaping.
• Walk your dog when it’s still light outside, and preferably in the morning where there is less chance of fireworks being set off. Also, let them out for the toilet before darkness and the fireworks begin.
• Some dogs may benefit from being fed an afternoon meal that is high in carbohydrates (like well-cooked rice or pasta) which will help them to feel sleepier and calmer that evening. Give them plenty of exercise during the day to tire them out by the evening.
• Trembling, pacing, cowering, and barking are signs that your dog may be stressed and fearful. Never take your dog to a firework display, even when they are not showing signs of fear. Excessive panting and yawning can also indicate stress in your dog.