The 5th of November is often celebrated across multiple weekends, and with the flashing lights and loud bangs from nearby firework displays, the celebrations can cause a lot of stress to our anxious pets at home.
Here are our top tips on how to manage your pet through the firework season:
Before the fireworks starts
In the build-up to bonfire night, you could begin desensitising your pet to firework noises. Getting them used to the loud noises can be better in the long run, as it's turning them into a positive experience, rather than something to be worried by. You can begin by playing the sounds at a low volume while doing something fun, such as playing or feeding your pet, and then gradually increasing the sounds to a louder volume.
Research nearby events so you know when to expect fireworks going off. This gives you plenty of notice to create some hiding spaces, away from any windows, such as under the stairs or behind the sofa, that your pet can tuck themselves away into. Ideally create this den a few weeks before, so your dog has time to become comfortable in there. It's also important to give your pets the option on where to go, so don't shut them in a room, or lock them in their crate.
During firework displays
Try to act as normal as possible, rather than presuming they'll be stressed and giving them extra attention, try to go about your evening like usual, or they may pick up on your anxiety. Remember, the more you change your behaviour, the more confused or nervous your dog may become.
Treat them to a new chew toy. Chewing on something will help soothe your dog by releasing those feel-good hormones. You could try freezing a Kong stuffed with yummy treats so that it keeps them occupied for a longer period of time.
Close any curtains or doors to help muffle the noise and to prevent any escapees. As always, ensure your dog's tag and microchip details are up to date, just in case they do manage to get out.
If you are worried about your pet's behaviour and reaction to fireworks, please speak to your vet who may be able to offer further advice.