Here are a few things you can tryBonfire night can be an extremely traumatic and frightening time for some dogs. Here are a few key things you could try to help relieve your dog's anxiety and make fireworks less frightening for them;
Create a safe space
Making a doggy den in your house filled with comfy blankets and their favourite toys is excellent for helping your dog feel safe and secure. Any small space will do such as a cosy den under the table/bed or even a blanket draped over an open crate (if your dog is used to being in a crate). Some dogs may be happier curled up with you in their usual spot on the sofa rather than a designated ‘safe place’ so make sure they have access to all areas and have the option to choose where they feel most comfortable.
Consider an early dinner
Your dog may be too stressed to eat once the fireworks start so try giving them their evening meal slightly earlier than usual.
Go for a long walk
Taking your dog out for a long walk before it gets dark will help them burn off some energy which should help them feel calmer in the evening.
Make your house and garden escape proof
When dogs are scared or get spooked they can try and run away. Make sure your garden is fully secured, turn the lights on inside, shut all windows and doors and close the curtains.
Pop on the TV or radio
Having a calming TV show or some relaxing classical music playing on the radio can help mask the unfamiliar noise of the fireworks.
Keep them entertained
Playing games with treats or playing with their favourite toy can be a great distraction and help take their mind off the loud noises and flashing lights outside. Try to behave as normal as possible and remain calm and cheerful around them so that they pick up on your behaviour.
Don’t leave them alone
The most important thing to do is not leave them alone! Stay home if you can as your dog could panic if you're not there when they are scared which will cause even more distress and anxiety. They will feel much happier with you by their side.
Do not hesitate to contact your vet for further advice on options such as anti-anxiety medication, calming aids or over the counter supplements if your dog is severely affected by fireworks.