Dog Owners’ Tips For Bonfire Night

Scared looking small black and tan dogpeeping out of cosy blanket

Devon-based natural pet food makers Forthglade, alongside certified animal behaviourist Caroline Wilkinson, have created five mindful tips for Bonfire Night which should help with keeping dogs happy and safe.

Walk your dog early

A woman out walking with two playful dogs (Lagotto romagnolo) in a spring forest.

Pic: iStockphoto

Fireworks can sometimes be heard before nightfall, so to avoid being caught out – make sure your dog has a fun, calm outdoor experience early on in the day.

Think about interesting sniffing environments rather than overwhelming busy park playtime so that your dog is at a lower level of stress.

Build your dog a den

Photo of little brown haired dog

Create a safe place for your dog to hide in should they choose to – a covered crate or bed in a small nook in your home can allow them to seek comfort.

If your dog chooses to hide, leave them alone – but if they come and seek your comfort, provide it freely.

Try some slow, gentle strokes along their body – matching your breathing to the pace of your strokes.

Add good things to the bangs

2 chocolate coloured dogs eating out of stripey bowls

For younger dogs who may not have experienced fireworks before, throwing them a tasty treat each time you hear a bang can create a better response to those loud noises.

If your older dog is slightly unsettled but not hiding, giving them something tasty to chew or lick can help them feel more relaxed.

Why not spread some Forthglade wet food in a food toy or LickiMat?

Natural remedies can offer support

Woman Walking Dog Outdoors In Autumn Park Pic: Istockphoto

Pic: iStockphoto

If your dog is petrified of fireworks, it is unfair to leave them without support for the days and weeks that the firework season seems to take up. Speak to your vet about any natural remedies they might suggest to give your dog some support during this period.

You could also rustle up some Calming Pumpkin Chews!

Be prepared for next year

Smiling mature woman enjoying afternoon walk and petting dog in forest park in summer

Pic: iStockphoto

If your dog seems scared of fireworks this year, allow them a few weeks to recover and then seek the help of a qualified, positive behaviourist.

Getting started on a plan to help ease their concerns well in advance of next year is key! You want to start building up a different response to fireworks while they’re not having to experience the real thing.