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Anxious dogs on Bonfire Night? 7 tips to keep your dog calm during fireworks

Top tips to help your pup feel safe

With Bonfire Night fast approaching and firework displays set to light up the skies next month, you may be busy making plans to celebrate Guy Fawkes' night - but it's likely your pet's worst nightmare. 

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Any dog owner is familiar with the hidden horrors of firework night that can cause our four-legged friends to experience symptoms of shaking, cowering, panting, crying, hiding and even running away.

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An RSPCA poll stated 62 per cent of dogs will become distressed due to the loud noise caused by fireworks this year. With the return of large events meaning firework displays will be bigger and better than ever, and a further RSPCA poll revealing that 52 per cent of UK adults will be holding private displays at home, it's never been more important to think about how to protect your pet this Bonfire Night.

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While the bright colours, flashing lights and snap, crackle and pops are entertaining for humans - these result in huge fear, distress and fatal injuries for all kinds of animals. Read on for top tips on how to soundproof your home to keep your furry friend safe this season. 

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How to keep your dog calm on firework night

Walk your dog during the day

Getting your dog's daily exercise in before the sun goes down means you're more likely to avoid being outside when the firework displays set off, which could startle your pup and cause it to run or hide. 

Talk to your pet through smart devices

Though it's always recommended to stay at home with nervous pets during bonfire night, timings of firework displays can be unpredictable. If you do need to leave the house, the genius Drop In feature on the Alexa app allows you to speak to your pets on your Echo device at home - calming your pet from afar with the familiarity of your voice. 

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Echo Dot, £34.99, Amazon

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Turn on the TV or play music 

Using sounds that are familiar to your pet to mask the sounds of fireworks will help your furry companion to feel at ease. According to the experts at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, music can reduce the sudden impact of firework sounds. Try playing calming, classical music to soothe your anxious pet, or say: "Alexa, comfort my dog" to play calming sounds through your Echo device if you own a smart speaker.

Classic FM’s Pet Classics will also be hosted by the station’s Sunday evening presenter and animal-lover Charlotte Hawkins. Supported by the RSPCA, the two programmes will be broadcast on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 November from 6pm to 10pm – the busiest evenings of the year for fireworks.

Close curtains and shut blinds

The bright flashing lights of fireworks might look beautiful, but they could confuse or scare your dog. Keeping windows closed with the curtains or blinds shut helps keep light out.

Comfort your dog

Never get angry at your dog for barking or howling when they're scared - it can only make the situation worse. Instead, try to comfort them with a favourite toy, or sit with them until the display is over.

Make sure your dog can't escape 

Sudden noises and bright lights could scare your dog into running away. Make sure all doors and windows are shut to avoid losing your pup when it gets dark. 

Use a pheromone diffuser

Stress-reducing pheromone diffusers can help keep anxiety-prone pups calm.

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Pet Remedy De-Stress Starter Kit, £20.97, Amazon

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A natural aromatherapy diffuser like Pet Remedy works with your pooch's own natural calming mechanisms by mimicking GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), which is a natural calming agent present in all mammals, birds, and reptiles.

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