Don’t like seeing your furry friend upset and looking for tips on how to calm dogs on Bonfire Night? Or maybe you’re concerned about a feline friend instead? Well, just in time for the 5th of November (the night all pet owners dread), we’re here to help you prepare for the evening so that you and your beloved pet can enjoy a relaxing night in together, scare-free.
Why it’s important to care for your pets on Bonfire Night
Whilst a lot of us look forward to Bonfire Night and being able to watch all the fireworks in the night sky or standing in the garden with a sparkler in hand. However, this isn’t the same experience for our precious pets. Many animals including dogs, rabbits and cats are scared of fireworks and find all the loud noises and flashes distressing. Of course, we can’t truly understand what they’re experiencing but we do know it triggers their fight-or-flight response.
So, if you’re looking for ways to keep your pet as calm as possible or interested in how to stop a dog barking at fireworks and getting anxious, carry on reading for our pet safety tips.
Pet safety tips for Bonfire Night
No matter if it’s your first Bonfire Night or your fifth, it’s never easy seeing your family pet scared and afraid. But there are some ways you can try making the night just that little bit easier for them.
Stay warm and cosy inside
It probably goes without saying, but your best bet in keeping your pet calm is by bringing them inside. If you’ve got a dog then taking them for a long walk earlier in the day whilst it’s still bright and sunny (and firework-free) is wise, plus it might even help tire them out later on too.
If you’ve got any outdoor pets, you can partly cover their pen or cage with a blanket or throw to keep things soundproofed and block out all the flashing lights. Alternatively, if you feel it’s best and you have enough space then you can bring them inside although you might have to do this gradually over time before Bonfire Night itself so that they can get used to it.
Create a safe space
Pick the room that your pet feels most comfortable in, this might be the living room, kitchen or maybe even a particular bedroom and make this the ultimate safe haven for them. We’re talking about their favourite treats, comfiest of beds, and toys galore. For cats, you’ll probably want to make sure they’ve got somewhere they can run and hide if necessary as well.
Soundproof your house
One of the easiest ways to keep your pet calm is to soundproof your house by closing all the windows and curtains as well as shutting the doors so that all the loud crashes and bangs of the fireworks outside aren’t quite as intense.
You could even put on some relaxing music to drown out the noises outside further. A quick search online will return all sorts of pet music for fireworks videos, there are even 10-hour-long compilations of music to calm dogs during fireworks on YouTube that will last through the entire night!
Keep them distracted
When we get anxious, we tend to try and distract ourselves, and the same can go for our pets too. Try playing with them using their favourite toys (the squeakier the better we say), you could even use the time to try teach them a new trick if they’re up for it. Or if they’re not in the most playful mood, you can give them a good ol’ snuggle on the sofa.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that if they’re not in the mood for company and a bit too nervous to be distracted then you can just stay close by for comfort and let them do their own thing.
Get chatting with others
Next time you bump into your neighbour, why not check in on their plans for Bonfire Night? That way you’ll know whether you might need to take any extra precautions if there is going to be some noise coming from next door. It’s also worth checking if there might be any local displays or other events going on around the time too.
Another option could be looking into calming collars or pheromone diffusers that release a relaxing scent only your pets can smell thanks to their handy dandy heightened sense of smell.
If you’re really worried about your pet and know your pet really doesn’t do well on Bonfire Night, then you might want to consider speaking to your vet and seeing whether they’ve got any other particular advice or treatments that might help.
Perhaps you know someone who’s recently become a pet parent and could really benefit from these tips? After sending this blog their way, be sure to also go and grab one of our new puppy cards to celebrate the occasion. Plus, if you’re stuck for message ideas, we’ve got a whole guide on what to write in a new dog card too!
And for even more fun and helpful reads like this, make sure you head on over to the rest of the thortful blog.