For us humans, Bonfire night is our chance to be amazed by the loud bangs and explosions of colour and lights in the sky – but for our pets who don’t have a clue what’s going on, it’s not so exciting. Dogs show that they are stressed and anxious in lots of different ways, so keep an eye out for some of the following signs – excessive panting and drooling, trembling, hiding or being clingy and putting their tail between their legs. For your cats, some signs can be cowering and hiding behind furniture, refusing to eat and scratching/spraying or soiling in the house.
It is recommended that you take your pets to visit the vet or a pet behaviourist if they are showing increasingly worrying signs; but there are lots of other ways to keep your pet calm and relaxed this Bonfire night -
Create a safe haven or den
Your dog might retreat to a hiding space or den so it’s a good idea to create a place for them in advance and encourage them to use it. Make it as comfortable as you possibly can by placing some toys, water, food and even some of your clothes in there. As for cats, it is more than likely that they will also find a place to hide and it is wise to leave them be and try not to tempt them out.
Making it a comfortable environment
It’s not just the loud bangs that scare dogs and cats, it’s also the bright flashing lights that can distress them. You can try to mask some of the noise and the lights by keeping your curtains shut, dimming the indoor lighting and having some background noise on such as the TV/Radio or Music, but avoid having it on too loud. Cats and dogs will naturally try to escape the loud noises and this is where having a den could help.
Try to keep your dogs routine as normal as possible as you don’t want to upset him more than need be. Take him for his walk earlier during the day to avoid the fireworks as much as you can; keep him on the lead if you’re worried that there might be some fireworks being let off. It is best to keep your cat indoors and if they are used to going out for the toilet, then allow them to do this earlier on and provide a litter tray indoors.
All animals, especially dogs are very perceptive when it comes to their humans behaviour, he will be able to sense when something is not right or if you are behaving unusually. If they sense that the loud noises are having an effect on you, this could potentially worsen their mood and make them feel more anxious. Try to comfort them when they come to you but don’t hound them with too much affection as they could start feeling as though something is wrong.
Make sure they’re tagged
Ensure that your cat or dog is wearing an ID tag that has clear contact information on as this will increase the chances of them being returned to you if they do get spooked and run off. It is now also a legal requirement that your dogs are microchipped.
Your pet doesn’t need to be showing any of the signs for them to be in distress and there are some things you should avoid doing such as tying them up outside, leaving them alone in the house and letting them near a bonfire or firework display.
Ensure you are doing all you can to make sure your furry friends are safe and hound this bonfire night.
Do you have any other tips to help keep your pets stress-free this Bonfire night? Share them with us on our Facebook page!