Watching fireworks, especially for children, with all their sparkles, unexpected flashes and colours can be extremely exciting, but for your dogs, Bonfire Night and fireworks is like living through a horror movie. Pets can often react by running away as a way to escape the noise, but there are things you can do to help to reduce your dog’s stress levels. With organised events, family parties, and the nights getting darker sooner, there are bound to be celebrations this autumn and winter that will involve fireworks. This is why our dog-loving team at NEXA has put together some advice on how to support your dog through Bonfire Night.
Create a place they can feel safe
Firework fright has been known to see dogs jump over or dig under fences, and even shatter windows – this is why it’s important to keep your dog in an area of your home where he or she feels safe and sheltered. Having a designated place to hide that is dark can make your pet feel more secure. The minimum you can do is to keep your windows and doors closed, but a sheet draped over a table can be a great solution.
Dogs that have their own crates should not be locked inside them, as this can make things more stressful for them, but again place a blanket over the top and keep the door open so they can decide when to go in and hide. One thing you should try not to do is confine them to a room, they may feel happier curled up in their favourite space rather than being told where they can or cannot be.
Plan if you can
The last thing you want to be doing is taking your dog out for a walk when fireworks are going off. Therefore, where possible, take your dog for a long and energetic walk before the night draws in as the fireworks’ loud noises, flashes and even the smell of smoke can all send your pets running. If you can, tire your dog out before events and displays start and keep their final toilet trip for when the quiet returns.
You also don’t want your pets escaping due to their anxiety, so lock your doors and keep them safe, and if possible in an area of your home where the sounds outside are minimalised. They could become destructive if stressed, so you may wish to remove things that can be damaged or be harmful if chewed.
One of our friends always puts classical for pets on their Alexa when they leave the house, this soothing music is believed to help to reduce your pet’s stress. Other pet owners like to leave the TV on, but anything you can do to drown out the sound of fireworks to distract them can only be a good thing.
It isn’t just background noise that can distract your fur baby but also a long-lasting chew, or a toy that keeps them occupied. If your dog has a favourite long-lasting chew, get one ready for the night, so they can enjoy a delicious treat whilst they enjoy Netflix.
Keep it normal
Dogs are so in tune with their owners, they can sense when you’re stressed, feeling ill, or unsettled, so act normal, and no matter what is going on outside keep your normal routine. Being overly attentive to your pet and even following them around your home can make them even more confused. Encourage them to play with a toy with you, or let them cosy next to you on the sofa, but just let them make the decision on what they will feel happy to do and when.
Keeping everyone happy
We know as dog owners how you can worry about your beloved furry family member on Bonfire Night, but we hope our advice will ensure you can try to keep everyone happy and safe from fireworks.
If you have any property questions, our team are always happy to help: contact our friendly team today!