Bonfire night 2019: How to keep your dog safe during fireworks

BONFIRE NIGHT is just around the corner, and already some people have begun celebrations by letting off fireworks. While these brightly coloured explosions are fun for us, our pets may suffer - looks at how to keep your dog safe during fireworks.

Bonfire Night falls each year on November 5 and is a celebration of Guy Fawkes failing in his plot to blow up Parliament in 1605. The capture of Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators saved King James I’s life, and in celebration people across London lit bonfires.

This then expanded to celebrations across the country and the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act.

Bonfire Night often features huge fireworks displays, bonfires, music and food and drink stalls.

As well as public displays, often families buy their own fireworks to hold shows in their gardens.

Despite being a fun part of the year, often evoking nostalgia, it can be a troubling time for pets.

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Bonfire Night 2019

Bonfire Night 2019: It may be fun for us, but loud the bangs can frighten animals (Image: GETTY)

Bonfire Night 2019

Bonfire Night 2019: Wrap your dog up in their favourite blanket to create a safe space (Image: GETTY)


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For animals, Bonfire Night can be one of the most stressful times of the year, with big bangs for seemingly no reason.

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In fact, Sainsbury’s has this year banned the sale of fireworks in all of its 2,300 stores.

This was not just for animals, but also due to concerns of the controlled explosions being used in inappropriate places, as weapons or affecting those with post-traumatic stress disorder and autism.

Animal charities have welcomed the ban, as many say Bonfire Night is one of the most distressing times of the year for animals.

Bonfire Night 2019

Bonfire Night 2019: Turn up the TV or music to help drown out the bangs (Image: GETTY)Gemma Cunningham, Campaign and Communications Manager at pet supplement manufacturers Lintbells, said: “Many dog owners are calling for a change around firework laws, with over 60 percent calling for an outright ban on unlicensed fireworks, according to the study we conducted, with 96 percent believing that the laws around fireworks should be changed.

“In addition to the recent announcement from supermarket Sainsbury’s and its plans to stop selling fireworks in all of its stores, the results of the study have raised further questions on whether fireworks should be further legislated, to protect not only dogs but other animals too.”

Lintbells, have thought of a few ways dog owners can help look after their four-legged friends.

There are things you can do to prep your home for Bonfire Night to help your pet feel safe.

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1. Create a safe space

Creating a safe place inside your home can be an ideal place for your dog to hide from fireworks.

According to a 2018 survey of 2,000 dog owners carried out by Lintbells, almost 50 percent build a safe haven for their dog to escape to during fireworks.

Using blankets and pillows can be a great way to create a den.

More than 75 percent also choose to close the curtains, windows and doors to further shelter their pet from the loud noises and bright flashes of lights.

Bonfire Night 2019

Bonfire Night 2019: Fireworks night can be distressing for dogs (Image: GETTY)

2. Turn up the TV or radio

The booming sound of fireworks can evoke fear in animals, so turning up the TV or playing music loudly can help to drown out the sound.

The sound of the TV or music could help distract your pet from the bangs outside.

3. Go for a walk - earlier

During fireworks season, the clocks have gone back making nightfall earlier.

This means there is a large window of dark sky for fireworks, and it is not an ideal time to take your dog for a walk.

Instead, try and walk your pooch during the daytime, so they will avoid any fireworks on their route.

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If there are any errant fireworks, keeping your pup on a lead for walks during firework season is a good idea.

Going for a walk earlier may also tire your dog out earlier in the day, meaning they may sleep through the fireworks.

4. Calming supplements

If you have done the above and your dog is still feeling stressed, it might be time to contact your vet for advice.

Lintbells offers a range of natural calming supplements called YuCALM which help to combat your dog’s stress and anxiety.

By supporting natural calming pathways in the brain, YuCALM is an effective way to help reduce stress and support your dog to become happier and more playful once again.