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  • Date: 23 Oct 2018
Dogs & Fireworks: Help keep your dogs calm on bonfire night

Dogs & Fireworks: Help keep your dogs calm on bonfire night

Dogs & Fireworks: Help keep your dogs calm and relaxed on bonfire night Whilst the highlight of any bonfire night is the fireworks display – bright colours, bangs and sparkles; for your dogs, the firework display on the night may be the exact opposite. For sensitive ears the unexpected loud bangs, thundering booms and strobes illuminating the room can cause some dogs to panic. We have provided some tips below on how to keep your pooch safe this November. Why do dogs get scared by fireworks? There are a number of reasons why fireworks can be a frightening experience but the main reason is due to the level of noise. The booming noise that fireworks make when they shoot into the air and explode falls completely outside of your pets sense of normalcy. The sporadic bangs  along with the fact that dogs have a much more sensitive hearing than humans, your dog will think they are in the middle of a very dangerous place. These bangs are enough to send your dog into ‘flight’ mode where they panic, attempting to run and tremble in fear or hide. Considering that bonfire ‘night’ now doesn’t just mean one night of fireworks, people have parties so that the fireworks are spread across many different nights in the week which will trigger anxiety in the approaching night. How to make your pooch comfortable during the night. There are some simple things that you can do to make your pet feel more secure and safe:

    • ○ Turn on white noise. White noise machines have helped crying babies and over-worked adults sleep better for many years due to their ability to drown out sounds and draw focus to the white noise. Either turn on a fan, plug in a white noise machine or even turn the radio on for your dog. Turning up the volume on the TV or radio can help mask the outside world and loud booms from your dog.
 
    • ○ Secure your home and garden. As dogs enter ‘flight’ mode their instincts will kick in to make them run in fear. Making sure any windows and doors are closed will secure your pet indoors. It will also help reduce the noise of the booms echoing inside your home. Also be sure to check your garden fence so that if your dog is in the garden, there is no gap in the fence to escape.
 
    • ○ Make a safe space. Place your dog where they feel the most safe. If your dog is crate trained then this can be the perfect spot. Try covering the top and two sides of the crate with a blanket to help offer a shelter for your pooch. If you live near a planned display then try and visit friends or family away from these displays where the noises are going to be quieter.
 
    • ○ Make sure you are home. Your dog will be looking at you for comfort and reassurance. If your puppy hasn’t encountered fireworks previously, or if you know your dog is nervous with loud noises, then refusing the urge to go out and watch the fireworks and instead staying in to comfort your dog will be much more beneficial in helping calm your pet.
 
  • ○ Try a Dog Swaddle. A Swaddle jacket or anxiety wraps are vest-like garments designed to calm anxious dogs. The vests work under the theory that pressure applied to the dog’s torso causes a calming effect similar to swaddling a crying infant or hugging a distressed person. We advise trying this jacket on your dog prior to bonfire night just to make sure they are happy wearing the jacket; otherwise this will be another worry on the night!

Please remember all dogs are different and whilst some dogs will be absolutely fine on bonfire night, others will find it a much more frightening experience. If you are able to comfort a dog from an early age and get them used to loud noises not being associated with danger, then firework night should not be a problem into their adult years. Some tips from above may work for one dog but not another – every pooch is different! You may have to experiment to see what works best for your dog. If you have a trick up your sleeve or something which makes your dog more comfortable on the night, please share with other pack members below!

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