As bonfire night approaches, we asked Dogs Trust for advice on how to keep your dog safe during the festivities. The noise of fireworks might not be loud to us but your canine companion may struggle to cope and become incredibly anxious.
There are plenty of ways to lend a helping paw before the big event to ensure your pet pal feels happy and secure.
Seek advice. Prior to Bonfire night, options can be discussed with your local vet to help your dog through their firework fears; ADAPTIL (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) is a scent, unnoticeable to pet owners, but very comforting to your pooch pal that can be given in the form of plug-in diffusers, a spray or a collar.
Move your pooch’s routine around: Make sure you take your dog out for a walk before dark to avoid being exposed to fireworks, this includes toilet breaks too!
Create a safe place in your home. This could be under a table or even a suitable sized cardboard box in their favourite room of the house. It will act as a safe base for your dog to retreat to when scared, so make sure the curtains are closed and the TV is switched on to help drown out any exterior sounds. Once they decide it’s safe to come out, you can give them the attention, praise treats or a high paw!
Keep your pup busy. Engage them in activities that’ll distract him/her from the noise i.e. games or reward-based training and act as if there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Don’t leave your dog alone in the house. Make sure you’re always on hand to reassure them. They may get worried if you aren’t around and this could cause injury or distress.
Stay Calm. Remain relaxed and this should sent out positive signals to your four-legged friend; your dog will read your reactions so it’s important to stay calm.
If your pet reacted badly to the firework noise, it’s important to continue working on ways to prevent this from happening the following year and to prepare for other loud outbursts in the future.
Try to associate the noise with something nice for your dog. Sound recordings of fireworks can be obtained online and are extremely helpful in allowing your pet to become accustomed to the noise, gradually. Having the CD on low in the background whilst your dog is happy can be an efficient method as he/she will hopefully begin linking the noise to contentment.