Early November is an exciting time of year. Autumn is in full flow; Christmas is just around the corner and of course Bonfire Night! Guy Fawkes Night offers a unique evening of firework displays and bonfires to warm those cold November evenings. However, the lead up to Bonfire Night can be difficult season for many dogs. The uproarious blasts and blazes made by fireworks and bonfires can be terrifying for them, making them stressed and anxious, possibly putting their wellbeing in danger. It is important to consider your canines best interests on Bonfire Night – especially if it's their first one. Puppies are likely to be more scared than they have ever been, due to the unfamiliar and potentially frightening sounds and sights. But there are ways to introduce your puppy to fireworks before November 5th and prepare them better for the bangs, blazes and blasts that Bonfire Night brings.
Can you get a puppy used to fireworks?
The best time to get your dog used to fireworks is when they are a puppy – as a dog who has already experienced a bonfire night in their life may already be frightened by the loud sounds and bright flashes. Preparing your pup begins now – you can start by turning up the noise on the television to gradually ease them into louder noises and bangs, especially during action scenes with frequent loud bangs. Once your pup is more used to that try recordings of firework displays to prepare them for the real thing. However, if your pet suffers from noise phobia or is quite anxious, the proposed preparation may worsen their situation.
How to keep a puppy calm during fireworks?
The loud noises and bright flashes that fireworks bring can be an anxious time for anyone – so put yourself in your puppies’ position, scared will likely be an understatement. There are ways in which you can distract and calm your dog through their fears:
Distraction from the loud noises via radio or TV – this can soften the loud bangs of the fireworks which should soften the fright for your pup.
Anti-anxiety kits and products for dogs – here at L&L we understand that your dog may, from time to time, struggle with high levels of anxiety or fright. We offer a range of products perfect for situations such as Bonfire Night, where your dog or puppy is likely to be scared.
Do not tell your dog off – it is important not to scare or upset your dog further than they already are. Try to act as normal as possible, sending your pup positive signals in the process by acting calm and happy.
Do not take your dog to a firework display – Even if you think your dog will not be phased by fireworks or a bonfire, is it really worth taking the risk. A loud noise or bright flash could be enough to spook them into running away from you in a panic.
Ensure they don’t have access to leave the front door – sounds a straightforward thing to say to some dog owners, but the strange noises and flashes of light that bonfire night brings could be enough to scare your dog into bolting to escape via the front door. If you need to open your front door, we advise shutting your dog in another room whilst doing so to ensure the highest level of safety.
Time to check your dog's microchipping details?
The Autumn can bring a variety of occasions that can spook your canine friend, especially Halloween and Bonfire Night. It makes early October the perfect time to check you dogs microchip details, and ensure they are wearing their collar with ID tag as often as possible. Loud noises and unfamiliar sights that occasions like Bonfire Night bring (with fireworks) are likely to be things that could spook your pup into attempting to run away. We know that the last thing any pet owner wants to do is lose their pet – but ensuring that their details are up to date will best prepare you for that worst case scenario and help you find them just in case they do go missing!
How to help a puppy when fireworks are going off?
Preparing your Dog for Guy Fawkes Night is difficult. The unfamiliarity of the evening could cause high levels of stress and anxiety for your four-legged friend. However, there are some ways in which you can best prepare to try and make the evening as stress free for your canine:
Walk in advance – Walking your dog in advance will ensure they have ample opportunity to relieve themselves before becoming scared by fireworks. Tiring them out may also help them relax more later in the evening.
Feed in advance – Feeding your dog before any expected fireworks would be advised, as an anxious or scared dog may not want to eat.
Ensure their water bowl is filled – Anxious dogs are likely to pant, drool and generally be thirstier. Regular checking their water bowl will ensure they have a drink available. It may be worth encouraging them to drink throughout the evening as they may forget due to fear.
Shut curtains and blinds – This will ensure any bright flashes are minimalised which could lead to scaring your pup.
Double check the security of your garden – Letting your dog out to relieve themselves whilst fireworks are going off may be necessary, especially for puppies. Making your garden secure will ensure your dog can not escape in an attempt to run away from the loud explosions and bright flashes.
Anti-anxiety and calming products – At Lords & Labradors we understand that your dog may need something extra to support them through scary and anxious moments. Our range of anti-anxiety and calming products ensure that your dog will be calmer through traumatic evenings such as Bonfire Night.