Remember remember, dogs hate the 5th of November!
45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks. As Bonfire night approaches, you will be very aware of how your dog might react throughout the night.
Although the beauty of fireworks can be very exciting for us, it can be massively frightening and fear inducing for dogs. Here are some top tips to plan ahead and make the most of the night and make sure your four legged friend is kept safe and how to avoid negative incidents.
- Trying to acclimatise your dog to unfamiliar noises prior to the night, playing firework sounds and general disturbing noises via Youtube on a low setting whilst sitting with them can help to get them used to the strange bangs in the night!
- Make a safe quiet space, where your dog can retreat to if scared or anxious, do little to try and not remove them once they have found safe sanctuary (even if it means leaving them hiding under your sofa for the night.
- Feed your dog long before fireworks begin, this can help prevent nervous vomiting and means they are well feed before they become too anxious to eat.
- Make sure your dog is wearing their collar and ID tag just in case they do accidentally escape.
- Walk them during daylight hours to avoid firework times or when a firework might be set off at night.
- Speak to your vet well in advance, in case they have medical or major anxiety issues.
On the evening:
- Remain calm and happy and cheerful, reward your dog when they show calm behaviour and try distracting techniques such as playing with toys.
- If leaving your home for the night, make sure you close all windows and doors and draw blinds and curtains. This can reduce scary light flashes and noises.
- Try anxiety reducing vets and coats, sometimes a tight jumper can help to reduce anxiety in dogs.
- Play music, the radio or the television, distracting noises can muffle the obtrusive bangs off fireworks.
- Take your dog to a firework display, this can be extremely frightening to dogs.
- Leave your dog outside, or in the garden during a fireworks display or whilst it is being let off.
- Try to force your dog to face his fears, this can cause some distressing signals such as fighting to get away from you.