You and your family might look forward to Bonfire Night every year, but the loud bangs and bright flashes can make it a very stressful event for your dog.
If you have quite an anxious pet, or you’ve recently welcomed a young pup into your home, you might have to take some steps to keep them calm and happy.
Here, we’ll explain five things you can do to make the night much easier for your furry friend. Read on to find out more.
Build Them A Den
If your dog is scared of fireworks, they’ll look for somewhere safe to hide until the noises and flashes stop. You can make things easier for them by creating an enclosed, comfortable haven where they can spend the evening.
This doesn’t have to be particularly extravagant — simply draping a blanket over a table, placing some cushions under your stairs, or moving their bed to a sheltered spot will be enough. Your pooch will just be happy to know they have somewhere to retreat to when they’re feeling stressed.
Use A Calming Supplement
If you know your dog is going to be exceptionally scared when the fireworks start to go off, you might want to use a calming supplement to help them out. This will settle their nerves and ensure the evening is much less stressful for them.
If you would like to try this out, Millbry Hill offers Woof & Brew Anxiety Herbal Tonic, which can be used every once in a while or as a daily supplement for anxious dogs. It’s designed to support your dog’s wellbeing and is best served over food, but can be added to your pet’s water if they prefer.
Don’t Make A Fuss
Your dog is very perceptive and can be unsettled if your behaviour changes. So, to help keep them calm on Bonfire Night, try to act as normal as possible. They’ll be able to tell if you’re stressed or giving them too much attention, so it’s best if you go about your normal routine as if nothing’s happening. This will show your dog that there’s nothing for them to worry about.
Play Firework Sounds In Your Home Before The Big Night
If you have a young dog, or you know your pet hates fireworks, you could try desensitising them to the noise before the big night.
DogsTrust offers a range of sound-based treatments that can help with this, and the best part is they’re free. Developed by two veterinary surgeons, the programme includes specifically recorded noises, such as traffic, fireworks, and thunder, that your dog should get used to. These also come with a full set of instructions, which makes the system very easy to use. Once your pet has been exposed to these noises on a regular basis, they should find it much easier to stay calm on Bonfire Night.
Don’t Punish Your Dog If They’re Scared
It’s perfectly normal for dogs to be scared of fireworks, so you shouldn’t punish them if they bark, hide, or make a mess. Not only would this be unfair, but it will also contribute to the anxiety they’ll experience next year. Instead of telling them off when they’re nervous, reward them when they’re sitting quietly. This will reinforce the idea that they have nothing to worry about and might help to keep them calm.
Bonfire Night can be a very stressful time for dogs, but taking these tips on board should help to keep them calm. We hope you, your family, and your dog have a wonderful evening