- 10 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe On Bonfire Night - Peak Pets

10 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe on Bonfire Night

10 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe on Bonfire Night

Bonfire night is a dreaded night for many pet owners.

The sensory overload for your dogs can cause a multitude of problems. It can often lead to days of anxiety, messed up eating habits and refusal to engage with walks and exercise.

Although bonfire night is hardly going to be your dog’s favourite night of the year, there are numerous small changes you can make to ensure the night is as comfortable as possible for your companion.

There are many clear signs that your dog is distressed, which can be particularly prominent on bonfire night. These signs include:

  • Shaking and trembling
  • Refusing to eat
  • Pacing and panting
  • Cowering and hiding, attempting to reach places in the home they usually would not
  • Soiling or having accidents in the house

Play the Long Game

It is no quick fix, but giving your pet exposure to loud sounds can help on overwhelming nights such as bonfire night.- 10 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe On Bonfire Night - Peak Pets

Playing the sounds of fireworks or thunderstorms, initially on a low volume, will help your pet get used to loud sounds that they otherwise would not have heard. You need to be extremely careful to gradually build up the sounds to prevent overwhelming your pet.

This is a long term solution, which can greatly help your pets tolerance to loud sounds.

Consider Your Own Energy

Dogs feed off our energy and emotions. If they feel that you are anxious about the night, they probably will be too. Try to remain calm and follow their lead as much as possible. If you can keep the night to as similar as possible to any other night, it will help relax any pets you have in the home.

Allow your dog to cuddle you if they should wish and enjoy some time relaxing together.

Keep Them Inside

Although it might sound obvious, many dog owners simply leave the back door open or even use a dog flap. This gives their dog independence to use the garden as they please and reduces the chances of accidents happening in the home. Some owners even choose to have kennels outside, where the dog will happily spend most of their time.

However, on bonfire night it is important that you keep a close eye on your pet and keep them indoors as much as possible. Even if the noise does not seem too loud near your home, a single loud bang can spook your pets and leave you with days of anxiety to deal with.

Use Other Sounds to Distract

Using other sounds, such as the television or radio can be great if the fireworks are not too loud. The familiar noises of the home will help them feel relaxed and hopefully help block out some of the explosions.

There are many playlists across all popular streaming platforms catering specifically for soothing nervous dogs.

Another distraction tactic is to use their favourite toy and involve them in a game inside the house. This will help with tiring them out as well as providing a distraction.

Shift Everything Earlier

On bonfire night, it is important that you both feed and walk your dog earlier than you usually would. This is because once the fireworks start, it is likely your dog will begin to feel anxious and will be reluctant to go outside. They may then not get the opportunity to relieve themselves after dinner.

Anxiety can also often put dogs off their food, which may result in them missing their evening meal altogether.

Additionally, a long walk before the fireworks begin will hopefully tire them out and result in a more peaceful sleep that night.

Calming Supplements

Calming supplements may be a worthwhile investment if your dog displays particularly anxious tendencies, especially around bonfire night. They can be added at mealtimes in the lead up to bonfire night to reduce the stress that your dog endures.

Create a Safe Haven

It is important to create a safe den in the home where your dog feels protected.

Create this den a while before bonfire night and encourage the dog inside as regularly as you can, rewarding them for doing so, yet making them feel as relaxed as possible.- 10 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe On Bonfire Night - Peak Pets

If possible, make the den somewhere in the centre of the home, away from doors and windows. This will limit the amount of noise the dog can hear. Using a large crate is ideal and cover with blankets to allow an extra level of noise protection.

Having a safe place to take refuge will work wonders for calming their nerves.

Invest in an Anxiety Coat

There is evidence to show that dogs find gentle pressure soothing, and it can help with anxiety, especially on hectic nights such as bonfire night. You can purchase shirts, coats and even head wraps that apply a small amount of constant pressure to your dog.

Give Them Space

It may be that your pet hides themselves away from the rest of the household out of fear of the strange noises. It is important not to try to force the dog out from the safe space they have created. This will only increase anxiety and massively decrease the chances of the dog settling down.

Black out the windows

It is not only the loud sounds that spook our dogs but the intense flashes of light also. Drawing the curtains and using blackout blinds in the room your dog will be in, is a great simple way to shield them from the light.

Seek Professional Help

Dog phobias are very real.

If you suspect your dog has moved past anxiety and has a clear phobia of the loud noises then it may be time to seek professional help. Your vet should be able to put you in touch with an animal behaviourist in your local area.

Anxiety in dogs can present a huge array of problems, not only on bonfire night.

- Changing A Pet’s Life: Why You Should Consider Adopting Your Next Dog - Peak Pets

Changing a Pet’s Life: Why You Should Consider Adopting Your Next Dog

Changing a Pet’s Life: Why You Should Consider Adopting Your Next Dog

When we bring a new dog home, it’s so much more than getting a new pet. We’re welcoming a new member of our family. Dogs give us loyalty and undying love, and we love them right back. You might personally have been considering getting a new dog.

Some people search out puppies and pedigrees, but is that really the best – or kindest – way to choose our new addition?

More and more dog owners are choosing to adopt their dogs, for a myriad of reasons. Adopting a dog can be rewarding beyond your wildest dreams.

Why Should You Adopt a Dog?

You might have heard that adopting a dog from a shelter can be challenging. While some dogs might have special requirements, that doesn’t change the fact that these dogs deserve a loving home. Adopting a dog can change their lives – and yours.

1.     You Could Save a Dog

Simply put, many dogs in shelters end up being euthanized or spending the majority of their lives in the shelter. Shelters are often overcrowded because of the sheer number of dogs. While most dog owner are loving and responsible, too many people buy puppies on whims; for special events, for surprise gifts, and so on. Then, when they get bored or frustrated, or their pet outgrows its cute puppy stage, they put the dog in a shelter.

Older dogs often end up at shelters, and can be passed over in favor of younger dogs. It’s worth remembering that while everyone loves puppies, older dogs love everyone.

“We rescued my greyhound when he was 8 years old, and he has been my best friend ever since. He has been by my side through thick and thin. My parents moved away and he would not leave my side and was always there for me. My nan passed away and he would be there for me to give me a cuddle, he really is the best dog in the world.”

2.     A Dog Might Save You!

We know that dogs provide love and companionship. In fact, a dog might get you through the hardest and most challenging periods of your life. An adopted dog does not mean a host of behavioral problems. In fact, it means love, gratitude, and a lifelong friend. Especially for those with health problems – emotional, physical, or mental – adopting a dog is definitely recommended.

A dog rescued from a shelter can give you the kind of love that money simply can’t buy.

“It probably sounds super stupid and cliche but Ted has literally saved my life. Without him, I wouldn’t be here today. I suffer from suicidal depression, and have for years. Nothing was really working nor helping: tablets, therapy, routine. Dogs were the only thing that could put a smile on my face. After a lot of struggling, I managed to get Teddy. He’s completely turned my life around. I still suffer, life is still hard, but just having Ted here makes things a bit more bearable!! I was very lucky with Ted; he’s been an absolute dream to own. Some days have been hard, but overall, he’s been amazing. He’s more than just a dog to me, he’s my best friend, family, my safety blanket, my world revolves completely around him. When he’s sad, I’m sad, when he’s happy, I’m happy, I cannot imagine life without him. He’s made my dark little world so much brighter just by existing.”

3.     Adopting a Dog Brings Amazing Rewards

Some of the dogs in shelters have experienced a lifetime of neglect and poor treatment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be the one to give that dog a loving, happy home? Many dog owners who adopt talk about how they gradually eased a dog out of their nervousness and fear, showing them what it really feels like to be loved. You may need to go slowly and carefully when training your adopted dog. Remember, we all make mistakes, and your dog will likely need some time to adjust to their new life. Be patient.

We all want to be loved, to feel safe. Dogs are no exception.

“When it comes to tips for owning a rescue, all I can say really is don’t rush them, don’t push for training right away or socialization. While both are important, pushing them in the deep end can make them much worse before they even have a chance to get better. You want to work with your dog, do things at their pace, it’ll be much more rewarding in the end if you work with your dog; seeing that first wag of the tail or them playing with a toy. I remember how happy I got the first time Ted fully snuggled with me, it took time and was totally worth every second of it all! So yeah, patience is incredibly important!!”

What If You Can’t Adopt?

Despite the best of intentions, it might not be possible for you to permanently adopt a dog. If that’s the case, there are still plenty of things you can do to help.

1.     Foster A Dog

If you can’t give another dog a permanent home, you could consider fostering. This gives dogs a comfortable, loving home to stay in while they wait for their forever home. Financial support will be given, and if you already have pets of your own, you can foster a dog that suits your needs.

Experienced dog owners make good foster homes, as they can help with training and socializing a dog.

2.     Volunteer at Your Local Shelter

If you have a few hours a week to spare, you could give valuable time to helping out your local shelter. New volunteers are always needed! This is a fun and rewarding job for any dog lover.

3.    Give a Financial Contribution

Running a pet shelter is a very expensive job. If you can, any financial contribution will be welcomed. Every little helps. If you want to donate, there are so many local shelters to choose from.

“You always hear people say about giving rescue dogs a second chance at life. Well, my rescue gave ME a second chance! I wouldn’t be here today without her, she’s everything to me.”