With Friday 5th November being firework night, there will be a lot of fireworks this evening and over the weekend. Sadly for our four-legged friends, this is a frightening time of the year for them. So what can you do to make your furry friend feel safe and less stressed?
The first piece of advice is to go for a long walk before it gets dark. This may not be practical for all, especially if you work, but a good walk will help your dog feel relaxed and tired.
If you have time, check your garden to ensure that it is safe and escape-proof. You may have left it a little late if you still have a huge hole in your garden – the last thing you want is your dog getting scared and making a run for it into the streets.
If you have time, make sure your dog has dinner before the fireworks begin. Once a dog is stressed, it will be less likely to eat.
Create a safe hiding place and settle your dog before fireworks start. A doggy den is a great way to help your dogs to feel safe and secure. A den is easy to make and can be put together with things you already have around the house.
Once the fireworks have begun, try not to leave your dog on its own. This may not be simple for everyone, but it does help if your dog knows you are there for it. If you are going to a firework display yourself, then perhaps you are a bit mean and should put your dog first!
if you are planning fireworks, let your neighbours know in advance
Provide entertainment for your pup. Keeping your dog busy indoors can take their mind off the noise. Play games or practice some reward-based training with some nice treats, but don’t give them too many treats!
Comfort and reassure your dog. Dogs are extremely good at picking up on how their humans are feeling. So if you stay calm, they will be much more likely to stay calm too. Have a snuggle on the sofa and try to relax. Put some music or the television on as that will help to mask the sounds from outside.
Overall, if you look after your dog, it will know you are trying to comfort it and will appreciate the extra attention – or it just might go to sleep and surprise you!