Helping your dog cope with Bonfire night & Halloween

family playing with dog in house

 

Fireworks, loud noises, strangers calling at your home and many knocks at the door are things we come to expect and get used to during October and November. But these new and strange activities are not easy for our dogs to get used to, even if they have experienced them in previous years. 

Starting with Halloween, which unfortunately often becomes far more than innocent kids trick or treating can be a very busy and quite scary experience for dogs especially if they don’t like strangers and/or loud noise. 

There are a few ways that you can distract your dog and help them to stay calm, one of these is having a stash of tasty dog treats for them to enjoy and keep them on hand when any unexpected noise starts.

Don’t take your dog out after dark during these celebrations and if they normally have an evening walk try moving it earlier so that you can be home safe and sound when any noise or flashing lights from fireworks start. 

When you get back home make sure that you close all the windows and curtains to help mask the sound of fireworks. If your dog likes to be part of a bustling family environment then you can switch on the TV or play some music to distract them from the sound of fireworks.

Have some of their favourite toys on hand and try playing with them to keep them occupied.

On the other hand if they prefer a quiet environment then you can create some quiet spaces for them around the house where they can go to hide until things quieten down.

Keep all your doors closed or locked so that your pet can’t escape and get lost or injured during firework season. Remember, they are trying to run away from fireworks and noise, not from you so even a dog that is used to staying home with doors open could unexpectedly make a run for it during the firework season. 

Within reason let your dog do whatever they feel they need to do if they are stressed. They may want you to comfort them or they may want to stay alone. As long as they can’t harm themselves that is the most important thing. If they have an accident in the house which can happen while they are frightened, don’t punish them as this will only make things worse in the long run. 

Firework phobia is a real condition and sometimes needs medical intervention. If you think your dog may be suffering from Firework phobia then it’s important to seek advice from your vet. 

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