It's that time of year again when many people will be celebrating bonfire night. However, the season can be very distressing for dogs and other pets, although some are absolutely fine and the noises don't bother them.
Others can get very distressed and frightened, and the noises can cause nervousness, withdrawal and aggression.
If you know that your dog is liable to get upset, then you should take effective measures to keep him calm.
Did you know that more dogs run away on fireworks night than any other time of the year?
For this reason, you should take action to make sure they are safe. Of course, it is natural for dogs to become scared of loud noises out of a survival instinct.
Fireworks often come with lots of flashing lights, vibrations and other noises. This can create confusion for many dogs.
So how do you keep dogs calm during fireworks season?
- Keep your dog inside - the closer your animal is to you, the more likely they are to be relaxed and calm.
- Keep your dog away from firework displays and bonfires.
- Close windows, doors and curtains - the more you can do to reduce the loud noises and lights filtering into the home, the better.
- Create a safe space for your dog to retreat to.
- Stay calm - your dog will pick up on your distress and negative energy. If you are panicked, your dog is going to respond in a smiliar way.
- Try not to get too excited or react to the fireworks, but instead carry on as if nothing has happened.
- One of the ways you can help your dog form positive associations with fireworks night is by giving him his favourite toy or treat. This will help to distract your dog away from the commotion and loud noises, and keep it focussed on something pleasant instead.
- Some dog owners opt to try and familiarise their pets with the sounds in advance, so it won't come as too much as a shock. This can include things such as playing recorded sounds of fireworks, at an increasingly loud volume.
If you have tried absolutely everything, and nothing appears to be working, then medication could be a solution. You should really only try this if your dog tends to get very distressed or upset during this time. Medication needs to be introduced at the right time, and given to the dog when it is in a relaxed state. Consult your vet if you feel medication is necessary in your dog's case.
Written by: Hannah