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5 ways to help your dog stay calm on Bonfire Night

Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Bright, noisy flashes of light whizzing through the sky have the ability to excite most humans. Dogs... Not so much.

The loud noises and sky filling lights are often met with fear and confusion. We eagerly await the day that dog-human language becomes available and we can tell our pets that fireworks don't signal the end of the world and there's nothing to worry about. Until then, we've asked our staff with pets to share their personal tips for banishing the Bonfire Night fear.

1.       Create a doggy den  

"When my dog Ferris was younger I used to create a makeshift den next to my side of the bed. He wasn't normally allowed upstairs but I made a special exception for Bonfire Night as he would get so scared. I'd end up sleeping on my front so that I could touch his paw to reassure him. Remarkably, now that he's older, he doesn't seem fazed." 

Bob, Marketing Supervisor


2.       Alter their walking routine

"On occasions such as Halloween and Bonfire Night, I tend to take my Yorkie for a long walk in the daytime. That way, he's tired out by time the rockets and firecrackers go off so there's less chance of stress."

Rosella, Content Co-ordinator


3.       Use tried and tested remedies

"My dog Amber is a rescue and can become quite nervous around Bonfire Night. I find that a ThunderShirt or anxiety vest works really well on her and she loves having it put on- which is also a great distraction from the ruckus. The ThunderShirt has a similar effect to swaddling a baby and Amber likes close contact so I think she is perfectly suited to this sort of thing."

Laura, Nutritional Supervisor


4.       Distract them with toys and entertainment

"Amber is a busybody so Kongs and feeding toys are great to distract her from what is going on. Her favourites are the Kong Wobbler and Kong Gyro as well as a snuffle mat- sniffing can also help to calm dogs down."

Laura, Nutritional Supervisor


5. Don't make a fuss

"My 10 year-old Yorkie is the most attention-seeking dog that's ever lived, and that's just your average day. Because of this, I've found that it's best not to pander to him in stressful situations. Instead, I'll distract him with a game, a healthy treat or if all else fails, tell him he's a good boy. It works every time."

Rosella, Content Co-ordinator


Remember the rest of the pet kingdom

It's not just dogs that get scared around Bonfire Night, cats and rabbits are wary of the bright sparks, too. 

"My rabbits, Winnie and Rory love to be outside! But when firework season arrives they much prefer the indoors. The loud noise and bangs will frighten them and cause stress to the bunnies. Having plenty of distractions help. I usually fill an egg tray full of hay and this provides endless of fun as they hunt to find their treats."

Rebecca Wilkinson, Sales and Marketing Administrator


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