Fireworks season is an extremely stressful time for many dogs and their owners, and so we have put together a range of top tips for helping to keep your dog calm and safe during this time. Bonfire Night is just around the corner, 5th November, and it is a time where fireworks can be going off left, right and centre at any time of the day or night, especially on the weekends.
As dog owners we can’t control firework displays or where they are set off, but we can help to prepare our dogs for this fearful time. Here are some our top hints and tips to get you through the fireworks.
Safety & Walks
Your dog running in fear after hearing the loud banging noise of fireworks is often a problem on Bonfire Night. Sudden noises can make dogs bolt out of fear which means they often end up somewhere that isn’t the safest place for them. As it’s dark so early in the evenings now and fireworks are more likely to be let off at dark, take your dog out for a walk early when it is still light.
As an additional safety measure or if you do need to walk or let them out at night, use an extra collar and lead or a harness as well as a collar to ensure no run away’s. Your dog getting loose could prove dangerous when it is dark outside and you cannot call your dog back easily due to noise, they will be anxious and scared so it is best to avoid them being outdoors alone altogether. Ensure all gates and fences in your garden are secure too if you do let them out after dark.
As well as an earlier walk, if your dog is used to a lot of exercise in the evening, you can keep them entertained and energised with some fun games in the house at night.
Creating positive associations with certain noises or events can be a great way to train your dog to stay calm during Bonfire Night. If a sound goes off and your dog doesn’t respond or simply gets up to have a look around but doesn’t get stressed or bark, give them lots of praise and rewards. Associating these events with treats, their favourite toy or just lots of praise and cuddles will slowly but surely create a positive connection to the sound of fireworks in comparison to being fearful and anxiety inducing.
Cold Pressed Training Treats
Itsdogfood Cold Pressed is great to use for training and trick training is a great way to keep your dog stimulated and distracted whilst having some fun. The food can be broken up into smaller pieces for smaller dogs and as it is a complete food you don’t need to worry about your dog over eating treats, simply take the amount you use when training out of their daily feed amount.
Make sure to be aware of key calendar dates such as Bonfire Night and New Years Eve where fireworks are often used. The weekends before and after these are often when organised displays occur, or people organise events in their gardens. If you expect your neighbours to use fireworks, it may be worth popping a note through their door to explain the stress they can cause your dog.
This may not ensure they don’t use fireworks at all, but it will hopefully ensure they are more mindful when using fireworks in their garden. Letting them know in advance of key dates may mean it is more likely that neighbours change their mind about letting them off or will give you notice if they plan on it.
Itsdogfood Top Tips
We advise staying safe, staying indoors and staying close to your dog tonight. Your company alone will be an extra safety blanket for them. Simple things like turning up the volume on your TV, closing the curtains and continually talking to your dog can help to reassure them more than you may think.
Creating a safe space by using their crate or even a table and covering it with blankets can make an area which feels protected and secure for your dog. Although nerve wracking for us too, as owners, we must stay calm and relaxed due to our dogs having the ability to sense fear from us and act in a similar way.