How to prepare your pet for Bonfire Night
If your dog is scared of fireworks, he or she is not alone. Many dogs hate them, meaning Bonfire Night can be a stressful time for pets.
You can get advice from a vet on how to change your dog’s behaviour but there are some simple tips you can follow to prepare your pet for the arrival of November 5.
Keep dogs and cats secure
The sound of fireworks banging in the night sky is the main cause of distress for most pets, so make sure they have somewhere to hide, whether it’s under a table or in cloakroom.
Close any windows in the house to keep as much noise as possible out. Also, draw curtains and blinds as this will reduce noise and flashing lights, which some dogs don’t like.
Make sure their safe place has plenty of things to do to keep them occupied. Put some toys in there and make it as comfortable as possible.
Ignorance is bliss
Try to ignore your dog’s behaviour as much as possible. This will be tricky as your first instinct is to comfort him or her. The best thing to do is to leave them alone in their safe place.
Never punish your pet for feeling scared – this will only make the issue worse.
Ignore the fireworks yourself and play with your dog or cat to distract them.
If you have a friend with a dog who is not scared of fireworks, consider inviting them to your house. This may help your dog realise there is no need to be afraid.
If your cat is scared, don’t try to tempt him or her out of hiding. Let them shelter until they feel safe to re-emerge.
Prepare for Bonfire Night
During the next few days in the run up to November 5, try to take your dog for walks during daylight hours, to reduce the chances of you being out in the open when fireworks are going off.
Buy a couple of new toys or treats so that your dog or cat has something interesting to do to take their mind off the loud noises.