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Keeping your pet happy this Bonfire Night: The Dogfather’s top tips

2nd November 2017

Bonfire night is one of the most exciting times of the year, but we know it can be a little less enjoyable for our furry friends. Our research found that up to 43% of people often stay in on fireworks’ weekend because they feel too anxious about leaving their pets.

Whether you’re enjoying the fireworks from your window or out and about at a display, there are lots of things you can do to help your pet feel as happy and secure as possible. To help you get started, we asked one of the UK’s top dog behaviour experts, The Dogfather, for his best tips on how to keep your pets calm through the noise.

Snuggle up: A warm, cosy home makes for a happy pet. Even when you are out of the house, with smart thermostats such as Hive Active Heating, you can keep an eye on the temperature to make sure it’s perfect for your pooch. Ensuring the warmth level is right might even help to send your dog to sleep through the loud bangs.

Use colour to calm: Chromotherapy – using light in the form of colour to balance energy – is a proven treatment for reducing anxiety and promoting calmness in humans. But did you know it also works on animals? Dim the lights for a cosy ambience or use blue and purple tones to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere for dogs. With Hive Active Lights, you can control the brightness of your room, as well as changing the colours, to create a soothing setting for your pet.

Set up a soothing soundtrack: Music is a great way to distract pets from the sounds of fireworks whilst creating the right mood. You can’t go wrong with a few mellow tones.  Even if you’re out and about, why not leave the music on and your pet can relax to some chilled tracks.

Comfort through scent: Humans find some smells comforting – and it’s the same for pets. Help them cope with fireworks by recreating the smell of dog and cat appeasing pheromones, which their mothers naturally produce, by using sprays. 

Make a cuppa: Herbal teas have been used for centuries to calm the nerves, and remedies that include Valerian and Skullcap can be a great choice for dogs. Evidence suggests they may help in low level cases of anxiety if using the recommended dose levels over a period of weeks.

Keep connected: The winter months are about being surrounded by loved ones, and there’s every reason why your pet should be part of that – after all, they are part of the family. Stay connected to your doggy no matter where you are via smart home cameras such as the Hive Camera. The two-way audio function allows you to listen and talk to your dog so you can praise them – importantly, only when they settle down. You can quietly keep an eye on them from your phone, too, giving you peace of mind that they are as happy as Larry.

Create a cuddly den: Treat your pooch to a new cuddly toy or leave them with an item of clothing that smells of you, so even if you’re not around they feel reassured. If you want to go one step further, create them a full on pet ‘zen den’ – a nice safe hideaway with all their favourite toys, comfy blankets and treats, to make sure they feel as loved as possible.

Plan in advance: Take your dog for a big walk in the morning and a short one later on in the day, so that you can avoid them being out when the noises start. Feed them in advance of the fireworks too. This way, they are also more likely to be tired and able to fall asleep despite loud bangs and flashing lights.

We’d love to hear from you! Have you got any tried and tested tips of your own? Let us know in the comments.

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