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05 Oct Fireworks and your dog: our top tips

Autumn is a wonderful season and as we move into November for many of us that means huddling up with our friends by a bonfire to enjoy a beautiful firework display. But for our four legged friends the loud bangs and burst of bright light can cause stress and anxiety. While the fireworks may be inevitable there are lots of ways you can help your dog feel safe.

Do your research

Check where and when firework displays will be taking place in your local area so you know what to expect and have time to prepare. It’s also a good idea to speak to your neighbours so they can let you know if they will be having their own celebrations.

Walk your dog before dark

Terrier type dog outdoors in the autumn

Where possible you want to avoid walking your dog at times when fireworks are likely to go off so it’s a good idea to consider taking your dog out earlier in the day.  You can always use a PitPat dog activity monitor to make sure they are still getting all the exercise they need.

Prepare your home

Turn on the radio or TV to mask any sudden bangs and close all the curtains so your dog can’t see any sudden flashes of light.You should also create a ‘safe’ place for them in your house where they can go if they feel scared. You could drape a blanket over the table or their crate if they are used to using one. Just make sure not to lock them in as this can be even more stressful for them.

Microchip your dog

Black white and brown dog sitting facing the camera

During the fireworks your dog may become scared and try to escape so it’s really important to make sure that they are microchipped and all details are up to date – just in case. Of course the best thing to do is to prevent potential escape in the first place so make sure all external doors are closed and secure any potential escape routes in your garden.  

Keep your dog busy indoors

You might find it helpful to play a game with your dog or give them a long lasting chew to keep them distracted.  However if they don’t fancy playing and want to hide away then make sure to let them.

Comfort your dog

Woman in orange pyjamas sitting on sofa with a dalmatian

Make sure you can be there for your dog while the fireworks are going on as leaving them alone may cause them to panic and could lead to them injuring themselves. Instead be on hand to reassure your dog and provide plenty of cuddles as needed. Remain calm while interacting with them and don’t punish them for reacting to the fireworks in any way as this will reinforce their fear.  

Consult your vet

If your dog is continuously worried or fearful around loud noises it might be a good idea to have a chat with your vet.  They will be able to help you find a trained behaviourist as well as discussing any medication that might be helpful.

And remember, even with the fireworks, autumn is a fantastic time of year to get out and about with your dog.  There are so many fun things to do, new trails to explore and smells to discover.  As the nights draw in you may have less daylight to enjoy walkies with your best pal but with the PitPat dog activity monitor you can make sure that whatever you get up to you are always getting the exercise balance just right.

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