This time of year can be particularly difficult for dogs due to Bonfire Night. Nowadays we do not just celebrate Bonfire Night on the one night; fireworks can be heard going off for days before and weeks after the 5th November. Apart from stress and fear fireworks can often cause dogs to act out of character becoming a danger to themselves and often others.
As dogs’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans, it explains why dogs are more frightened of these loud noises than humans. It is important to make your dog as calm and comfortable as possible during this time here are some tips:
- In the run up to Bonfire Night walk your dog when it is still light outside. This reduces the possibility of fireworks being set off while your dog is out walking and your dog becoming frightened.
- The use of a plug in or spray used 48 hours prior to fireworks will help calm the dog during this period, containing a synthetic copy of natural pheromones they help increase the sense of security.
- Never take your dog to firework displays, always keep the dog inside the house when you can hear fireworks going off.
- Keep the windows and curtains closed; removing the dog’s visual of the fireworks will help soothe the dog.
- Do not leave your dog unattended during Bonfire Night; they will be more comfortable with familiar human company.
- Provide an enclosed place for your dog as they often feel safer in closed small spaces, especially when there are loud noises going on around them.
- As difficult as it is try to ignore any fearful behaviour, e.g. panting, shaking and whining as dogs often pick up on their owner’s anxiety which could make the problem worse.
- Provide distractions, for example new toys or chews, while fireworks are happening.
- Putting the TV or radio on will help mask the noise of the fireworks.
Keep your dog safe and happy during Bonfire Night and use these tips.