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Dogs & Fireworks - keeping them safe

Remember, remember the fifth of November...Gunpowder, treason and plot... Guy Fawkes Night! However, our furry friends might not be so excited when it comes to this time of year. These celebrations tend to consist of fireworks which can be loud, noisy and cause distress for pets.

Read more to out tips on how to help keep your pets calm and safe during firework celebrations.

Fireworks can scare many animals, particularly dogs and cats. The Kennel Club has found that 40% of dogs fear fireworks. According to research by Classic FM and the RSPCA, two-thirds (63%) of animal owners reported that their pet was distressed during fireworks season. Playing relaxing music was the most common way (36%) to help calm or prepare their animal, along with taking their animal elsewhere (29%).

Here are a few tips for us hoomans to implement to help keep your pets calm and safe during firework celebrations:

  • You can now buy silent 'no noise' fireworks - these are ideal for displays that want no whooshes, bangs and crackles.
  • Check the information on your dog’s microchip is up to date as sometimes dogs can run away when they are scared or alarmed by loud noises.
  • Use the radio to drown out any outside noise. Classical FM have teamed p with the RSPCA and have confirmed that they will be playing 'Pets Classics' show on Bonfire night. The show is filled with calming music to help keep anxious pets and their owners relaxed.
  • Check any firework displays that are planned locally so you are aware of when they will be. Also check with your neighbours to see if they are planning any unofficial fireworks in their gardens.
  • Try and act as normal as possible as your dog will pick up any odd behaviour.
  • Top up your dog’s water bowl – dogs can get thirsty when anxious or scared.
  • Stay with your pets or get someone to sit in with your pet so they’re not scared or alone.
  • Change your walking routine: Most dogs require a minimum of one walk a day. Try walking your dog when it is still light before the noisy celebrations begin.
  • Close any windows and curtains – this will help to muffle the sound of the fireworks and hide the bright flashes of light.
  • Allow your dog to hide inside if needs be – let them go under the table or in a room where they feel comfortable and safe.
  • Comfort your pets – give them extra fuss, buy them a chew toy, or give them their favourite treats as a way of comforting them.
  • Don't confine your dog to one space - sometimes dogs like to pace and walk around when feeling anxious. 
  • Make sure your pets can’t get out the house during bonfire night celebrations and check that your garden is escape proof.
  • Check that their bed is a comfy and cosy as possible - beds like our Calming Beds have rimmed sides to offer a safe and secure sanctuary.
  • Don’t punish or tell off your pets for being alarmed, scared, fretting, or having little accidents inside due to being scared.
  • Look at pheromone diffusers to help calm and relax your dog

If you are still concerned about the well-being of your dog during this celebratory weekend, contact your vet for advice. A vet can prescribe medication to try and calm your dog's anxiety.

Have a safe Bonfire Night, everyone. 


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