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Bonfire night is fast approaching and children will soon be tracing their name with sparklers. The air will be filled with the smell of toasted marshmallows and fireworks will light up the sky. It’s a great night to enjoy with friends and family but bonfire night isn't always as fun for our pups. The loud bangs and flashes from the fireworks can be frightening - especially if your pooch has never experienced them before!
Sometimes it is the pups you least expect who will react to fireworks. It’s important to remember that different circumstances can affect your pup’s reaction; one year they may be fine, and the next can be a distressing experience for them.
Here are some symptoms of distress to look out for:
- Refusing food
- Spending in the house
- Barking or whining
- Trying to escape
What should dog owners do on Fireworks Night?
- Take your pup out to relieve itself before it gets dark so they are settled inside the home before the fireworks begin.
- Close the windows to reduce the noise and shut the curtains to help relax your pup.
- Stay at home if possible to keep your dog company as this will ease their nerves.
If your dog begins to show signs of anxiety there are things you can do to help:
- Make them a safe place to hide as dogs will often seek out somewhere dark and cave like when distressed. A blanket over a crate or behind the sofa. If there is somewhere the pup likes to go choose that area.
- Make sure this area is easy to get to. Perhaps put a bed or their favourite toy there for them- this will help them feel more secure.
- Try not to fuss over them and carry on with your normal routine as much as possible. Dogs will pick up on changes in your routine and this alone can raise their anxiety levels.
- Be calm and relaxed around your dog and if you let your dog out tospend, make sure your garden is secure.
Do some dogs need help from the vet to cope?
There are various products which can be provided by your vet to help your pup cope. These can range from herbal supplements through to prescribed medication to settle your dog. Any kind of medication must be used with caution, and always seek advice from your vet.
Where can I get advice on preparing my pup?
The RSPCA, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust and Kennel Club all have useful information on how to prepare your dog for bonfire night. You can also check out our website for further handy tips!
If you have any concerns about your pup and fireworks, we recommend you contact your vet for further advice.
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