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  • Writer's pictureThe Cambridge Dog Lodge

Bonfire Night is coming

So here we are at that time again – the run up to Bonfire night. Exciting times for most people of all ages ( I used to love Bonfire night!) but it is becoming increasing clear just how difficult it is for many of our pets.

Last year I did a part one with ideas for helping our pets with the lead up to Christmas and New Year and I thought I would get onto it sooner as we have under 4 weeks till the big nights itself and it really does kick off! There’s nothing better than being prepared. So, let's get some good practices in place.

We all immediately think of dogs who are affected but it's all our pets – cats, rabbits, chickens to name a few. So, what can we do?

Well first I have included our little tips that are generic. But what else is there?

Candles I love a nice smelling candle. Something gentle and soft. It really can calm me down. The same can help animals too. Any candle that is made from beeswax, soy or vegetable wax are safe for use around animals. Scents that are good to use are Lavender and Camomile.

Always ensure they are safe for your pet and they are safely out of the way so the pet cant injury themselves or anyone else, and they can't knock them over.

Tasty treats Invest in some really tasty chews and treats that you know your pet is going to love. That they cannot resist. Don't spoil them with it though and give it to them all the time, save them for special and in particular when there is something stressful going on. They associate that good tasty treaty as something nice and positive. Treats that are also good for their teeth and tummies would be perfect. Don't forget smaller pets such as rabbits can have a hay bundle or special corn treats.

Here's a nice little website to help out with homemade treats for rabbits.

Create a safe space Make up a nice cozy den for your pet. Use a crate or a box or even under a table with a lovely soft bed and blankets, covered, to make it dark or put some low lighting around it

This can be made up for all pets, dogs, cats, rabbits etc. If its big enough you can even sit in there with them!

How to make a den for your pet - PDSA a link to the PDSA and their den ideas.

Calming Spray There are many sprays on the market now that you can buy that advertise specifically for pets, especially around bonfire night. These can work really well, but you must ensure you read the instructions and always buy a pet specific spray. Please do not be tempted to just buy a nice smelling home spray. You can buy sprays that can be sprayed onto the pets bedding but again ensure that it is pet safe. I know Pet Remedy do sprays and plug ins. I have never used one but they do have good reviews.

A Massage Give your pet a massage. This will help them to gently relax, plus it will enhance the bond between you and your pet too. And another good reason to do it is you can carefully check all your animals body for any cheeky signs of illness or pain.

Big comfort donut bed I have to admit these beds have surprised me at how good they really are. We bought one for Indie, and she does love it (she hasn't even chewed or eaten it!) and it has helped keep her calm in tricky situations. They are really expensive ones on the market but if you look you can find cheaper and they are just as good. Again, not just for dogs, you can use them on all your animals.

Soothing music Many stations do specific programs for animals around bonfire night, tailored just for them. Or you can down load podcasts too. You can even play around with different kinds of music and see which your animals prefer and make your own playlists.

Firework noises

So this one is a video of firework sounds - I've listened and its loud!! So if you choose to do it, turn it down and turn it up slowly. I don't think this is for the faint hearted and you have to be careful you don't make your pet worse! I know from how Indie reacts, she doesn't like noises she can't see where they are coming from so I might give this a go, but I am unsure.

Thunder jackets

So these are basically jackets that you can put on your pet and they are quite tight. The idea is it's like a big hug that keeps them safe (very basic explanation) so you don't necessarily need to buy one of these, but you could use what you already have, like a towel or blanket, or even a scarf.

What is really important with all these suggestions is we help our pets, we do what is right for them, and we start now. The day of bonfire night is far too late. Let's get our pets used to the noises, help them be anxiety free and improve our bond with them.

Let me know what you do and how you get on and tell me which of these things help you and your pets? And is there anything else you do to help them?

Georgia x


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