Everyone loves a firework display but the days around Bonfire Night can be a stressful time for pets and their owners.
Peter Parkinson, marketing director at Melton’s HiLife Petfoods gave us his top 10 tips for a happier bonfire night:
n Take your dog for a nice long walk during daylight hours. If your dog is physically and mentally tired, he will be much more likely to settle down during the evening and less likely to worry about the noise, lights and activity outside.
n When it starts to get dark outside, close windows and curtains to help muffle the sound of fireworks.
n Make sure your pets are kept indoors while fireworks are being let off and, if possible, stay at home with them and act calm.
n A few days before, create a ‘safe house’ for your dog with lots of blankets for him to snuggle into. Provide treats to make sure your dog associates his den with nice things.
nMake sure your furry friend always has somewhere to hide if they want to. This could be in a favourite cupboard or a bed. And don’t try to tempt them out. This is likely to increase their anxiety.
nDistract your dog by playing music and a game to keep him busy. Treat him to a new toy and give it to him on Bonfire Night. Some tasty treats may also help.
nIf your pet shows any signs of fear, try to ignore it. Never punish or fuss over him when he’s scared as this can only make things worse by making him think fear is rewarded.
nMake sure your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise. Have him microchipped so that if, in the worst case scenario, he does escape, you have more chance of getting him back.
n Don’t forget your small animals. Provide lots of extra bedding so they have something to burrow in.
n Finally, if your pets live outside, partially cover cages and aviaries with a blanket or two to offer some soundproofing but make sure that your pet is still able to look out.
If you follow all my tips you and your pet should have a safe and sparkling Bonfire Night!