We all love a celebration at THE PACK (who doesn't), and our pooches enjoy a slice of pup-friendly cake occasionally too. Which brings us to one of the most exciting night's of the year, Bonfire Night!
Across the world, families and friends enjoy wrapping up, watching colourful fireworks light up the sky, dancing with sparklers, and nibbling sticky toffee apples. However, despite fireworks being truly magical for us humans, they can be very stressful for our furry friends.
So, as pawrents, we need to plan ahead to ensure our dogs are as calm as possible on Bonfire Night.
Loud bangs and bright flashes created by fireworks can often trigger fear, alarm, and anxiety among lots of animals, and according to the RSPCA, an estimated 45% of dogs in the UK suffer distress and discomfort as a result. That’s around five million canines in the UK alone. So how can we calm our pups during fireworks? We asked our team of experts to share their top tips and here’s what they said...
THE PACK’s top tips to keep you dog calm on fireworks night
- Create a safe place for your dog: Draping a blanket over a table is a great way to give your dog somewhere secure to retreat to. If they usually sleep in a crate, drape a blanket over this too to make them feel extra safe.
- Draw your curtains: The bright lights from fireworks can stress out your pooch as well as the loud bangs, keep curtains drawn to minimise flashes from outside. Keeping inside lights on can also help minimise outdoor light pollution.
- Stay calm: Playing music or switching on the TV can help muffle outside noise, so we’ve compiled the very best of calming dog music to help your pooch chill out. Simply scan the QR code at the bottom of this page to listen or click here!
- Use a calming scent: Many dogs respond well to products such as RelaxoPet or Adaptil, scents designed to chill out your pooch. You can also try using essential oils, but be sure to check which are safe for dogs before.
- Making sure the house is secure in case they bolt: Don’t forget to shut all doors and windows and block off any cat flaps to stop dogs (and cats) bolting, which they can sometimes do when highly stressed.
- Give them a good walk before the fireworks so they are exercised and toileted: Walkies! Try a new route in daylight to make sure your dog is happy, tired and not needing the loo by the time night falls and fireworks start.
- Feed your dog before it gets noisy so they are able to eat: Once the fireworks start your dog may be too anxious to eat, so as well as topping up your dog’s water bowl in case they become more thirsty, give them a healthy meal of plant-based goodness to munch on beforehand.
- Give your dog special toys during fireworks: Shiny new toys or favourite old friends, are great fireworks distractions for dogs. They may be too anxious to play when the noise starts, but having their toys nearby is always useful.
- Distract them with food: If your dog is calm enough to eat, lick mats, snuffle mats, and kong toys, where your pooch has to work a little for their food, are a great distraction and keep their nose and brain busy and engaged.
- Make a note of the dates of local fireworks displays in your area: Keep an eye on local school displays, and check your local paper to find out when and where fireworks will be going off near your home.