As the jubilee weekend approaches, many of us are looking forward to a long weekend – particularly now the weather has finally started to warm up! To ensure you can fully enjoy your bank holiday, it’s worth considering what problems your pup might run into while we humans are busy celebrating. One thing we wanted to discuss is fireworks – these aren’t usually something to worry about on your average summer bank holiday, but there is a high likelihood that some people will be setting some off over the jubilee weekend. So, what can you do to prepare yourself and your pup?
It's worth starting by thinking about what time you might hear fireworks
– most of our traditional firework-focused celebrations in the UK happen during the winter, when it gets dark much earlier. It’s likely that fireworks may catch you unaware this weekend due to the lighter evenings. Be sure to keep an eye on the time!
We strongly recommend not walking your dog on days when fireworks are likely and definitely around the time that fireworks are most likely to go off
, as many dogs who get lost go missing after bolting when they are startled by fireworks. If you are walking your dog, definitely keep them on a lead and in a well-fitting harness. If you’re being safe and skipping the walks, check out our blog on things to do with reactive dogs
for some inspiration about what you can do at home to keep them entertained instead! If we’re lucky enough to have a hot bank holiday weekend, you can also have a look at this blog for tips on keeping your pup cool and comfortable!
Create a safe space for your dog
– this could be a dedicated room in the house or your dog’s pen or crate. The best place will depend on your home layout and your dog. A safe space that is as quiet and darkened as possible, so your dog can escape the flashes and loud bangs, is perfect – many people choose to use a crate as it is easier to accomplish this. As it is likely to be warmer than most firework days, try to give your dog the option of a soft and cosy area as well as a cooler area to ensure they are comfortable. You might also want to play some calming music for them to help somewhat drown out the startling noises.
Consider calming supplements or even medication
– supplements such as skullcap & valerian or pet remedy plug in and spray can be very helpful for mildly affected dogs. If your dog’s fearfulness is more severe, contact your vet as they can now prescribe a gel which is applied to the dog’s gums. This gel works within 15 minutes as has been found to be highly effective.
Double check your garden security and keep your dogs supervised.
We’ve mentioned that many dogs get lost on firework nights due to spooking and bolting on walks – this is also true of dogs spooking and getting out via damaged fencing, open gates etc. Be mindful even if your dog is going out for a loo break and make sure the garden is safe and secure.
Don’t plan to be out – even if your dog isn’t generally fearful.
Noise phobias can develop in dogs of any age and being left alone while loud fireworks are set off nearby is the perfect way for this to occur in your dog. It simply isn’t worth the risk of leaving your dog alone with no reassurance if they get frightened – the fallout could be huge, life-altering and long lasting.