Although bonfire night traditionally is on 5th November, for many reasons fireworks displays are spread over a 2 week period, which is pretty annoying for pet owners. It can cause many problems with your dogs, cats and other animals, particularly if they are sensitive to noise and bright lights. Fireworks nowadays are so much louder than they used to be and unless you jaunt off to some ‘firework free’ island around the end of October, you’ve no chance of avoiding them!
So what can we do to ensure our lovely dogs don’t get stressed by the loud bangs that will inevitably be dominating our environment?
Make sure your dog’s microchip details are up to date and if possible that there are wearing their ID tag, so if they do get startled and run off, they can be traced back to you.
Keep all your windows and doors closed to try and muffle the sound, also keep all curtains and blinds closed – this will help muffle the sound further and will hide the bright flashing lights which can also be distressing.
Walk your dog during the daytime, not in the evening, keep them on their lead, just in case any fireworks are let off early. Let them out into the garden just before it gets dark so you can then keep them in until after the fireworks have finished. Stay out in the garden with them to ensure they do not get scared, particularly just in case a firework may go off.
Indoors keep your household calm – act happy and cheerful and do not react to any loud noises you hear. Keep it as normal as possible. Have music playing or turn the sound up slightly on your TV to try and drown out any noises from outside.
If your dog seems distressed comfort them and try and distract them. If they want to be left alone, just leave them alone and ensure there is a comfortable place for them where they can feel safe.
Reward your dogs with treats for calm behaviour and don’t get annoyed with them if they bark – after all that’s what dogs do!!
There are plug-ins available which give off dog-calming pheromones, these may help if fireworks are a real issue for your dog.
What do you do to help your dog during fireworks?