Bonfire night, Guy Fawkes day, fireworks night, whatever you call it, the 5th of November is a night that Brits reserve to commemorate the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 by illuminating the skies with fireworks displays, lighting bonfires, burning scarecrows resembling Guy Fawkes and getting toffee apples stuck in their teeth.
However, amidst the awe and excitement of the festivities, our canine companions often go overlooked. While we humans marvel at the spectacle, our four-legged friends are left cowering in fear, distressed by the loud bangs and unknown sights and smells. As responsible pet owners, it falls on us to ensure their safety and comfort during this eventful night.
So, here’s how to keep your fluffy family members happy this Guy Fawkes Day:
Start the day with a long walk to tire out your dog. A well-exercised pup is more likely to sleep through the festivities. However, do keep them securely leashed, as unexpected fireworks can be startling, and a startled dog might attempt to run away. Ensure your dog is properly identifiable with a microchip and a collar with an up-to-date ID tag. Make sure your garden is secure too in case your pooch is outside, gets startled and tries to escape.
Create a safe and cosy space within your home where your dog can retreat to when the fireworks begin. Playing soothing music or leaving the television on can help muffle the sounds of explosions outside. Don’t leave your dog alone when the fireworks are in full swing. Your presence is reassuring and comforting.
Positive reinforcement in the form of treats, playtime or extra fuss can help your dog associate the loud noises with fun. Keep your hound distracted with toys and playtime. Treat puzzles, snuffle mats and chew toys offer fantastic diversions from the unsettling sounds outdoors.
If your dog’s anxiety is particularly severe, don’t hesitate to consult your vet. They can provide guidance on reducing anxiety during fireworks. Natural remedies like Australian bushflower spray can be administered after throughout research too.
Firework night is an evening meant to be enjoyed by both humans and mutts. A little extra caution and care go a long way in ensuring a stress-free and happy night.