How To Keep Your Dogs Calm On Bonfire Night

Shutterstock / Masarik © dogs bonfire night

With most public fireworks displays returning this year, families and friends are gearing up to celebrate Bonfire Night 2021.

However, whilst this is an exciting time for many, this is not good news for the nation’s dogs.

The lead up to, and Bonfire Night itself, can be a very traumatic time for dogs.

The loud bangs and flashes, are often extremely frightening and can cause stress, anxiety, and unpredictability, potentially putting their safety at risk.

Canine behaviour expert Kirsten Dillon, in partnership with premium raw pet food brand Natural Instinct, is calling for people to be aware of the nation’s dogs this Bonfire Night.

Especially if they are considering hosting their own fireworks night at home.

“Fireworks are a dog’s worst nightmare!” Kirsten says. “With people celebrating Bonfire Night at public displays and at home this year, it is likely there will be an increase in loud bangs from different places to terrify our dogs.

“We’d urge people to consider other ways to enjoy the festivities that don’t involve setting off fireworks in the back garden.”

But if people do choose to celebrate, there are ways to make your dog feel as safe as possible.

Here are Kirsten’s top tips for doing just that.

Kirsten’s top tips for keeping your dog calm on Bonfire Night:

  • Create a safe haven. Look at where they choose to hide and turn that place into a soundproof, darkened escape.
  • Play some Reggae music. Clinical studies have proven that Reggae sounds will help soothe and calm anxious dogs.
  • Play an audiobook, such as Roald Dahl stories. Studies have also shown that audiobooks can help create a calm atmosphere, with Roald Dahl stories being the top pick for dogs.
  • Give your dog Sileo. Sileo is proven to be very effective and easy to administer at home to help dogs with noise aversion. However, please do consult your vet or other professional beforehand for advice and guidance, and make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Try plug-in diffusers, thunder shirts or pet remedies. Plug-ins typically use pheromones with de-stressing properties, while thunder shirts provide gentle constant pressure known to have relaxing effects. Pet remedies such as a calming supplement are also reported to help relieve anxiety. Once again, please consult your vet or other professional beforehand if you have any concerns, and always read and follow instructions carefully.
  • Use something to mask the smell of fireworks. Cordite is a trigger just as much as flashes and noises, so finding a way to cover up the smell will also help.

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Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.