Remember, remember the 5th of November…
Let’s be honest, if you’re a pet parent, there’s no chance you’ll forget! Just the phrase ‘Bonfire Night’ is enough to strike an uncomfortable feeling of dread in any dog owner. It’s true that many dogs get a serious case of anxiety when the 5th of November rolls around and this can cause distress for both pet parents and their pooches. Want to find out what you can do to make the evening less of a stress fest? Read on for top tips on how to prepare your dog for Bonfire Night.
Notes for neighbours
If you know that your dog is prone to anxiety, it might be worth penning a few notes to send to your neighbours. People love dogs and may not consider the impact their fireworks have on the neighbourhood pooches; a simple, but polite note could make them rethink their Bonfire Night celebrations altogether.
On the 5th, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise during daylight hours. Whatever you do, don’t take your dog out after dark as you never know when people may be planning to start their Bonfire Night festivities. The last thing you want is your dog running off in fear because they’ve been startled by a loud bang.
Prepare a den
Make a safe space in your home for your dog to get a little privacy if they’re feeling scared. A crate is a great option for a den; cover the top and sides with blankets to block out any flashing lights and line the inside with a cosy bed and pillows. It’s probably worth doing this a few days before Bonfire Night so your pup has a chance to adjust to their new surroundings.
Close all window and curtains
It’s important to minimise the noise and flashing lights as much as possible on Bonfire Night. Do a walk around your house and make sure all your windows are firmly closed and shut all your blinds and curtains. If your dog is severely anxious, it’s probably worth draping a blanket or cover across the window in the room where your dog will be. This will block out any lights that may get through your blinds or curtains.
Is your dog a fan of motown? Does your dog enjoy classical tunes? Well, Bonfire Night is the perfect time to get your record player on. Not only will the music help calm your dog down, it will also help muffle the popping and banging sounds of the fireworks. Dance around the living room with your pooch and try to make the evening a fun experience for them.
When the fireworks start popping, try to distract your dog with a nice game of fetch. Obviously you will need to stay indoors for this so you can’t throw things too far, but the excitement of the game may help your pooch keep their mind off things.
When your dog is feeling a bit frightened, a couple of treats here and there may go a long way to make them feel more at ease. Of course, you don’t want to spoil your dog but it’s fine to make allowances every now and then. Turn the treat giving into a bit of a game so that your dog can focus on something other than the fireworks.
Play with toys
Bonfire Night is a great time to invest in a couple of new toys. Hit your local pet shop a few days before and buy some bits that you know will keep your dog busy. The key is to keep your pooch as distracted as possible so that they have less time to dwell on anxious feelings. The TastyBone range is great for keeping your dog occupied for long periods of time- shop online today. Not to mention, they taste pretty delicious too!
Comfort your dog
Sometimes, when your dog is feeling scared, a good cuddle from their owner can make all the difference. Many dogs are scared of fireworks and it’s important not to chastise your pup for a perfectly normal phobia. Talk to your dog in a soft, even voice and allow your tone to assure them that they’re safe and sound. Snuggle up together on the sofa and let your company be all the comfort they need.