Bonfire Night — Your Dog’s Biggest Nightmare

Ah fireworks, that beautiful magic in the night sky. Who doesn’t love fireworks and find them fascinating, right? Yeah if you’re anything like... well most people or still keep the child in you alive, chances are you wait with excitement for those special nights of the year when you can enjoy a good firework show. But that beauty in the sky has way more to it than you thought and I’m not talking chemistry here. Those 5–10 minutes of flashing gunpowdery goodness can cause a lifetime trauma to your pet.

It’s a widely known fact that animals have a hearing much more acute than ours. Extremely loud noises can not only scare your beloved pet but cause him serious pain. Not all animals are that sensitive but you should still take the right measures.

What are the steps that you have to take to protect your dog, cat or other lovable domestic creature from the harms that fireworks can lead up to.

Plan ahead

First of all it’s a good idea to do your research and check for firework events, when and where are they going to be. Bonfire night and New Years Eve in London are obviously the brightest on the list but better check for local events and celebrations also. For those of you who missed out on what Bonfire night is this is the night when we mark the anniversary of the end of the plot to blow up the House of Parliament. And how do we mark that? You’ve guessed it, with a huge fireworks show.

This year the celebrations for Bonfire night will be spread throughout the whole weekend however the main firework event that you should keep an eye and ear on is going to be on November 5.

Once when you know on which days of the year to be mindful, check out some recommendations.

For all animals big or small, it is best if you make sure that they are comfortable with loud sounds first. You can start with a training over the course of a few months. You can easily find recordings of fireworks and thunderstorms. Start quietly at first. Give your pet some time to get used to the sound and gradually turn the volume up (still not too loud) as time passes. This process must be done carefully and does not give you a guarantee that your dog won’t get scared on New Year’s eve but can at least lower the stress levels for your pet.

If you have a holiday vacation planed out and you have to leave your pet to someone be sure to warn him and give instructions. Many people also choose to leave their cat or dog in the hands of professionals. There are many dog day care centres in London that can offer a safe environment for your pet. The carers there are trained and will provide all that your canine needs, from the basics like water and food to dog walking, basic trainings and even grooming.

In case you’re staying at home, here are a few tips to follow on a fireworks night:

Dogs & Cats

  • Always keep your cats and dogs in the house during s fireworks show and if you have both might be better to keep them separate
  • Make sure that your dog had a plenty of exercise during the day
  • Set a quiet room or corner of the house, preferably a place that you can close off for the duration of the event
  • Pick your pet’s favorite toys, bed or blanket and why not a box. We all know cats love boxes.
If it fits I sits….
  • Don’t leave your cat or dog alone when the fireworks start
  • If you still have to be elsewhere, leave the TV or a radio on, something that your pet is used to
  • Also don’t turn of the lights in the room
  • If you don’t have the opportunity to keep your dog at home for some reason, make sure that your yard is closed, your canine has a shelter and a tag with the address or a microchip implant.

Did you know: In the US more dogs are found wondering loose on 4th July than any other day of the year.

If your dog or cat suffers from stress and anxiety you can also try out the Thundershirt.

In some rare cases with more sensitive, easily frightened animals you might need a consultation with a vet. In those cases he’ll most likely give your pet a mild sedative.

Small pets

In case you have a rabbit, hamster, guinea pig, ferret or maybe some other furry friend in your house, make sure that it stays there.

Always keep your small pet indoors — in a quiet room, a garage or a shed. It might be best if you put your pet in its enclosure. Ferrets for example are playful and naughty by nature they hide in various places even when they’re not scared of banging fireworks. And lets be honest, you wouldn’t like to turn your house upside down looking for your hamster for a couple of hours .

Whether in the hands of professionals or with the right preparations, it’s not that hard to protect your furry friend during those stressful nights of the year. And now when you know how to help your pet, you’ll also be able to enjoy the full glory of firework shows.

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