Tips for a stress free bonfire night
Ways to keep your dog calm on Bonfire Night
Whilst some people and especially children love bonfire night, it can be a particularly stressful time for dogs (and other pets).
Here are some tips to keep your dog happy and safe.
Don’t take your dog to a firework display or leave him tied up in the garden whilst fireworks are being let off. Even if your dog doesn’t whimper don’t assume he is happy, excessive yawning and panting can indicate that he is feeling stressed.
Try to find out if any major firework displays have been planned near you or if your neighbours are having a party and if so, what time it’s occurring, so you can be prepared for the sudden noise and flashes of light, and perhaps move to a quieter part of your home.
Close your curtains to reduce noise and frightening flashes of light, turn up the TV or radio and behave as normal, as your dog will pick up on any stress or anger you feel and may feel he’s done something wrong.
Make a safe haven for your dog, put his favorite toys in his bed with a blanket or on the sofa so he feels secure and comfortable.
Your dog may try to retreat to somewhere he feels safer, for example under your bed, don’t try to tempt him out as this may stress him. Talk calmly to him and take him a favorite toy or blanket. You might want to give him one of your old jumpers so he can smell you and feel secure.
If your dog needs to go out when fireworks are going off outside, keep him on his lead, even if he is in the garden, a sudden noise or bang could frighten him and cause him to run off. If you have visitors, make sure your dog is securely in the room before you open the front door.
If your dog comes to you for comfort, don’t ignore him, stroke him and talk calmly to him, don’t forget to keep his water bowl topped up as an anxious dog will pant more and get thirsty.
If you’re dog is very nervous or has got very stressed in previous years, speak to your vet who will be able to offer advice.
Above all remember it is natural for your dog to be scared of loud noises, don’t try to ‘make him face his fears‘ or be cross with him, he trusts you and will rely on you for comfort and love.