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How to help your dog deal with fireworks

On Bonfire Night and the days leading up to it, it’s important to look out for your dog to ensure they are not unsettled by fireworks that may be occurring close to your home, as the noise could frighten them. Take a look at these top tips to help your dog stay calm.

Leave your dog at home

Never take your dog to a firework display as you don’t know how they might react to the loud bangs. Large crowds of people and a big, roaring bonfire could also unsettle them. Even if your dog doesn’t appear outwardly nervous at firework displays, this doesn’t mean they are comfortable with them. Consider staying at home with your dog so that you can be there to comfort them if they need it.

Keep your dog indoors

After dark, try to keep your dog indoors where the sound of fireworks will be muffled. Take your dog for an early walk if you can before it gets dark, so they are safely inside before any fireworks start and so that they are worn out and relaxed. If your dog needs to go outside to use the toilet, accompany them in the garden so that you can offer them comfort if loud bangs start unsettling them.

Know when fireworks are happening

Investigate when any organised firework displays are happening and ask your neighbours if they will be setting off any fireworks. If there will be firework displays occurring close to your home, you could take your dog to a friend or family member’s house where they may feel more comfortable.

Distract your dog

Get out your dog’s favourite toys or use a treat dispensing toy to keep them occupied and distracted. Actively play with your dog to keep them happy and comforted by your presence.

Close the curtains

As well as the loud bangs of fireworks, dogs may also be frightened of the bright flashes, so keep the curtains closed.

Background noise

Put the radio or television on at home to drown out the sound of fireworks.

Hiding places

Make sure your dog can access hiding places in your home that they can retreat to if they get scared. If they do decide to hide, allow them to come out of hiding in their own time; never force them to come out of hiding as this could make them feel more stressed.

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