9 ways to keep your dog safe and stress free on Bonfire Night

dog during bonfire night
Poor dogs get a real fright on fireworks night (Picture: Getty)

Bonfire Night is nearly upon us, and it won’t be long before sparklers and catherine wheels light up the night sky.

It’s all fun and games for us humans, but fireworks and bonfires can be extremely distressing to animals, which is something you’ve probably already noticed.

Does your canine cower under the sofa every time a bang goes off outside? Does your mutt become a maniac at every flash she sees?

It’s no secret that most animals hate fireworks, and it’s no surprise given they don’t know what’s going on. But there are also some other reasons.

A spokesperson for Pure Pet Food explained: ‘Animals have heightened senses and their hearing in particular is much stronger than ours. A dog’s hearing is twice as sensitive as a human’s for example, and a cat’s three times!’

The best thing you can do is keep your pets indoors, but even this isn’t always enough to ensure they’re free from stress. Here are some more tips to make everything run a lot more smoothly for your dog:

Before fireworks

Microchip

Ensuring your pet’s microchip details are up to date is important year-round, but especially so around firework season.

Dogs and cats might panic and flee at the sound of a firework bang, so make sure that if they do run off, they’ll be able to be returned to you safely.

Put a ball in your dog's food bowl if he or she eats too fast. They be forced to move the ball around to get to all the food.

You can also purchase products such as Tractive, which allow you to follow your pet’s movements by GPS if they run away.

Water

Top up your pet’s water bowl – dogs in particular.

Anxious dogs pant more, meaning they get thirstier quicker.

Walk

Take your dog for a walk before it starts to get dark, as it might be a while before it’s safe for them to venture outside again to go to the toilet or to let off some steam.

dog on a night time winter walk
A walk before the fireworks get going can help (Picture: Getty)

Security

Although it seems like it goes without saying, make sure you shut all of the doors and windows in your home and don’t forget to draw the curtains.

This will help to block out any flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks.

Den

Use your dog’s favourite blankets, toys, or an unwashed item of your clothing to make them a little den in a quiet corner of your house.

This should help them feel safer and more secure, with them knowing they have a place to go if they’re distressed.

During fireworks

Distract

Switch the TV or radio on to try and distract your pet from the noise outside.

Many owners also find that white noise sounds helps to distract their dogs. These can played via YouTube, or through a number of sleep apps.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: One survey found that 81 percent of cat owners let their felines sleep on the bed, compared to 73 percent of dog owners.

Let them hide

Your pet might choose to hide under the bed or behind other furniture, but don’t even try and tempt them out, as this could cause them more stress.

However, if they come to you for comfort, make sure you give it them.

Act normal

Try to act as normal, as your pet will pick up on any unusual behaviour. Be calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your pet.

Company

Avoid leaving your pet alone when fireworks are going off near your house, and if you do have to leave, don’t get angry with your pet if you find they’ve been destructive or messed in the house – shouting at a frightened pet will only make them more stressed.

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