How to help keep your dogs and other pets calm on Bonfire Night

Virgin Radio

2 Nov 2021, 13:22

Credit: Getty

Credit: Getty

Bonfire Night is nearly here, which means that the sky will be lit up over the weekend with fireworks. Whilst this might be a beautiful sight for us, it’s a nightmare for our terrified pets, who obviously haven’t got a clue what’s going on and are scared of the constant loud banging.  

With this in mind, people have been taking to the internet to give their advice on how to help calm your pets down as the bangs continue to go off outside. 

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home gave some helpful tips, such as being sure to take your dog for a nice long walk well before dark and therefore avoiding being outside when the fireworks start to go off, and keep the telly on in the evening, to mask the noise a little. They also suggest creating a safe place inside your home for your pet to hide, such as a table draped with a blanket.

Battersea also says you should avoid confining your doggos to one room, but equally make sure your home and garden are as escape-proof as possible. Also, giving them a long-lasting chew can help distract them from the chaos outside.

Whilst some people suggest getting their dogs a stress band or calming jacket, a dog owner has shared a useful hack. Caitlin Miller from Tyne and Wear posted on Facebook last year that it’s possible to make something similar using an old sock and a pair of scissors.

Simply cut the ends off a sock and put it over your dog’s head, obviously making sure that the sock is big enough for them to be comfortable. The student said (via LADbible): “It gives them a sensation of being cuddled and relaxes them. We used them last year and as firework season is back we're using them again and thought I'd share with my friends."

Meanwhile, several politicians have been posting about the stress that fireworks can cause animals. 

The RSPCA has also given some valuable tips, saying that it’s a good idea to close the curtains along with the windows because, as well as muffling the sound of fireworks, doing so will also stop your doggy from seeing any flashes outside. 

Also, ignore the firework noises yourself, as if your dog thinks you are agitated, this could stress them even more. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don't force them to if they aren't up for it.

And, if your cat freaks out as well, then the RSPCA says to provide hiding places in your home, such as under some furniture or in a quiet corner, and to leave them alone if they are hiding, rather than trying to tempt them out. 

Meanwhile, small animals can be helped by partially covering cages/pens with blankets so an area is soundproofed and hidden, but make sure you leave another area uncovered so they can see out. It's a good idea to provide bedding for small animals to burrow in.

Oh, and if you are planning on building a bonfire, please be sure to only do so on the day that you are going to light it, as small animals such as hedgehogs might take up residence inside if it's there overnight.