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How to Prepare Your Dog for Bonfire Night

Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot… And scared doggies.
Few (if any) dogs like the annual celebration of the discovery of Guy Fawkes’ plans to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the reigning king.

Small wonder. Bonfire Night involves fireworks, and they can get terrifically loud and scary. Dog hearing is far superior to that of humans (humans are 20Hz up to 20kHz, while dogs are 40Hz up to 60kHz) so those whizz bangs will be greatly exaggerated.

Here’s what you can do to make sure your dog has a pleasant evening:

Don’t take your dog to a display

Even if you think he’s a placid sort, don’t go with your dog to a fireworks display. He might react unexpectedly and you might be in situation to frantically look for a place where to hide and calm him down. Also – you might encounter other frightened dogs which will add to the stress. Even if your dog can tolerate the fireworks, he does not enjoy it, so spare him the experience.

dog fireworks

Try a fireworks CD

In the run-up to Bonfire Night, you can play a CD (or find something firework-y on YouTube) to play quietly, so your dog gets used to the noise of sudden bangs and explosions.

Turn up the television

On the night itself, close the curtains and turn up your radio or television to disguise the sounds.

Don’t make a fuss

Tempting as it might be to shelter and protect your dog or coo over him, try to act normally, so he doesn’t think there is cause for alarm.

Ask your neighbours if they are planning anything

It’s good to be prepared if there is going to be a big party next door.

Create a safe den for your pet

You might want to place his bed under your bed, and put one of your old jumpers in it. This will be reassuring for him.

Walk your dog at dusk

Hopefully, this will be before any parties or events start so you will get your walk in peace and quiet.

Feed your dog before the noise starts

If there is a lot of explosions going on, he might be too scared to eat, so you’d better follow the routine and feed her when she’s relaxed.

Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog in case she accidentally escapes

You should also block off any cat flaps and shut him in one room when you open the front door for the same reason.

Keep a lead on your dog if you do need to take him out

A sudden explosion may frighten the dog, and he’ll bolt. Even if you think your dog is not like that and she will be fine, if she gets scared, she might get unpredictable.

Good luck!