Frightened pooch? Here Are Some Things to Prepare For this Bonfire Night

Frightened pooch? Here Are Some Things to Prepare For this Bonfire Night - Barking Heads & Meowing Heads

Frightened pooch? Here Are Some Things to Prepare For this Bonfire Night

As pet owners ourselves, we know that Bonfire Night can be quite stressful for dogs. We're here to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable night out with your canine companion. Let's dive into some top tips to help your dog cope with fireworks and bonfires this Bonfire Night.

Create a Safe Haven:

Before heading out to the fireworks display or lighting up your own bonfire, make sure your dog has a safe space to retreat to. Set up a cozy and secure area indoors, like a bedroom or a crate, where your dog can find comfort. Fill it with their favorite toys and blankets, and leave the door open, so they can enter and exit as they please.

Keep Them Indoors:

It might be tempting to bring your dog along to the Bonfire Night celebrations, but it's often best to keep them indoors. Loud bangs, flashing lights, and the general chaos of a crowded event can be overwhelming for dogs. Leaving them at home ensures they stay safe and stress-free.

Provide Distractions:

While the fireworks are lighting up the sky, help your dog stay distracted by providing some entertainment. Offer them a delicious chew toy, a treat puzzle, or turn on the TV or some soothing music to drown out the noise. The distraction can help keep their minds off the commotion outside.

Use a Thunder Shirt:

A Thunder Shirt, or anxiety wrap, can be a great tool for anxious dogs. It applies gentle, constant pressure to your dog's torso, which has a calming effect for many pets. Be sure to introduce your dog to the Thunder Shirt well in advance, so they are used to it before Bonfire Night.

Plan an Early Walk:

On Bonfire Night, make sure to take your dog for their daily walk a bit earlier than usual, ideally during daylight hours where possible. This will ensure they are tired and have had a chance to relieve themselves before the fireworks begin. A tired dog is generally a calmer dog.

Positive Association:

If you want to help your dog get used to the sound of fireworks, consider desensitization training. You can find recordings of firework sounds online. Start with low volume and gradually increase it while offering your dog treats and praise. Over time, your dog may associate the noise with positive experiences.

Consult a Vet:

If your dog experiences severe anxiety during fireworks and bonfires, it might be best to consult with your vet. They can offer advice and, in some cases, prescribe medications or recommend other therapies to help your pet remain calm during these events.


Bonfire Night can be a lot of fun for you, but it can be a bit of a frightful night for your furry friend. Remember that safety and comfort should always come first when it comes to your dog's wellbeing. By following these tips, you can help your dog have a more relaxed and enjoyable Bonfire Night, free from anxiety and fear. 

Barking Heads Journal

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