The Dog's Trust are encouraging owners to build a ‘doggy den’ at home in a bid to make dogs feel safe and secure during fireworks season, an often terrifying time for their four legged friends due to the unusual sights, smells and exceptionally loud noises, which often surprise dogs during the evening hours when they are settling down to sleep.
Dogs Trust Director of Canine Behaviour and Research, Dr Rachel Casey explains how creating a safe environment can help:
“Many of us enjoy the experience of fireworks but for our dogs it’s often a terrifying experience. Dogs have approximately four times more sensitive hearing than us, and also have a more extensive range of hearing – they can hear much higher frequency sounds than we can - so just imagine how loud a firework bang is for a dog. The smells and flashing light of fireworks are also unusual for dogs. Fireworks tend to be sudden, unpredictable and bright, this cocktail of effects can often have a profoundly negative impact on dogs.”
“One tip we have for concerned dog owners is to create a doggy den, a haven where dogs can feel safe and secure. The doggy den should be built away from hubbub of the family home, somewhere quiet where the dog can rest peacefully. This will very much be a safe space for the dog, but they should be able to move in and out of the den freely, making it as cosy and snug as possible is a must but Fido should be able to see out of the den should he want to. Concerned owners should seek veterinary advice before fireworks night if their dogs are very scared or panic due to fireworks.”
The team at our 21 rehoming centres across the UK will also be going the extra mile to make the dogs in their care feel as comfortable as possible during firework season.
How do you create a doggy den?
Use an indoor dog crate or chairs and/or a table covered in blankets to create the safe space – using blankets over the top will help muffle the bangs
Fill the den with soft blankets, pillows and a few familiar items that smell of your dog to make him feel comfortable, a few items smelling of their owner would be a bonus
Make sure your dog has access to clean drinking water in their den, a non slip bowl would be an advantage to avoid spills
Add some of their favourite toys to the den; they have positive associations with them so will help them feel at ease
Keep a radio or the TV playing as this will help to mask the sounds of the fireworks outside