Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for Pet Owners on Bonfire Night

In collaboration with YuCALM

Doc has been in a weird mood lately.  We think something out there has spooked him.  If you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, you will be familiar with what he’s like – over-excitable, over-friendly and loves, loves, loves the outdoors.  As soon as he sees the door open, he’ll be out as if he’s bum is on fire.

Doc having fun in the garden with a baking tin he found somewhere.

Lately though, you’ll have to literally drag him outside even in the morning, unless he knows you’re following too.  And if by chance you come in before him, he’ll whimper by the door till you let him in.  If not, he’ll find his way in, even if it means squeezing through the small window in our boot room.


Something has definitely spooked him and we’re worried about what he’ll be like on Bonfire Night.

Thankfully we were provided the following tip by YuCALM and Lintbells National Dog Happiness Survey and we thought we’d share it with you lovely folks, especially for those who are dog owners too:

Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for Pet Owners on Bonfire Night:

1. Do – keep your dog safe indoors and ensure they have identification such as a registered microchip and a collar with a disc including your contact details: 37% of survey respondents said their dogs are likely to react to stress by running away.

2. Do – provide a safe hiding place indoors (such as a tent or pet bed in a quiet, secluded part of the house): 56% of dog owners told Lintbells that their dogs tend to react to stress and anxiety by cowering or hiding.

3. Do – act calmly and normally, providing too much fuss can reinforce the idea that there is something to be afraid of.

4. Do – make sure the environment is safe if your dog starts to react in an uncharacteristic way: 13% of survey respondents said their dogs become destructive when stressed.

5. Don’t – keep the house in silence, a radio or TV can help mask the noise of fireworks.

6. Don’t – leave your dog alone at night if at all possible: 21% of survey respondents felt that being left alone was stressful for most dogs and in fact it’s estimated that up to 80% of dogs suffer from some form of separation anxiety when their owners are absent.*

7. Do – draw the curtains or blinds and if necessary drape over additional fabric to muffle noise and flashes of light.

8. Do – take your dog for a long walk during the day so they are more likely to rest or sleep in the evening.

9. Do – think about using a supplement or other aid to help your dog feel calm and relaxed.

10. Do – ask your vet or certified animal behaviourist for advice about longer term training which can include desensitisation (helping your dog to become accustomed to triggers over time by slowly building up their exposure) and counter conditioning (helping your dog to start associating a fearful event with positives rather than negatives).

Doc was also given a YuCALM pack which consisted of the following lovely items:  A blanket for comfort, a new toy for exercise, a dental cotton bone for play, some doggie treats and lastly some vitamin supplements to help with doggie stress.

And there’s Doc with his guilty look which he’s perfected over the years, even though he hasn’t done anything.  Btw, that lovely blanket will be shredded to pieces in the morning hey-ho.

He absolutely loves his dental-chewy toy.  Doc says woof!  Thank you!

Do you worry about your dogs or pets on bonfire night too?


    • Thank you. I heard rabbits are nervous little animals too? Glad she’s not affected by the fireworks 🙂

  1. Something About Baby

    These are some great tips. My sister has two dogs, and one is terrified of fireworks. She has a “thunder” coat for him which has always worked really well, as well as allowing him to sleep in his “safe place” upstairs on the landing outside her bedroom door. He definitely copes better being left alone rather than made a fuss of. I feel sorry for animals on nights like this!

    • Love the idea of a thunder blanket. We can’t give any blankets to Doc, sadly 🙁 We used to, but he would always rip them to pieces the next day. We’ve stopped giving him any and that’s also the reason why we chose to give him a plastic bed instead of a nice soft and fluffy one.

  2. Lisa Lambert (mumdadplus4)

    Our dog really struggle on bonfire night we had tablets we started about a month before to help keep him calm. Its just not nice for them.

  3. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

    Fab tips Dean. It’s so important to make sure our furry friends are safe and secure. My lovely staffy boy used to be so scared of fireworks, the yuCALM kit is a genius idea. I’ve got to ask,, did Doc resist from chewing his blanket? Hehe! He’s ace 🙂 x
    Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs recently posted…Hipp Free From Baby Care RangeMy Profile

  4. Little B & Me

    I get so sad at this time of year for homeless people & animals, I worry so much it sometimes makes me sick.
    My own cats are awfully scared at this time of year & I’ve found a little box in the corner calms them down enough.

    Fabulous tips darling<3
    Helps with cats too!
    Little B & Me recently posted…360 Play Winter Pass GiveawayMy Profile

    • We might put Doc in the boot room where it’s darker and Boots our cat, can stay in the living room where we can draw the curtains. To be fair though, she isn’t as bothered as Doc.

    • It is indeed. It breaks my hear to hear them whimpering and looking frightened.

  5. I’ve never had a pet but my heart has always gone out to pets on bonfire night when I lived in the UK. These tips are so helpful and any pet owner should take note of them, well done for sharing these x x

  6. clairejustine

    Doc is so lovely Dean 🙂 Great tips, Mollie my dog is just a year and half at the minute and she hasn’t noticed the fireworks yet. All the other dogs I had use to be scared of them though.
    clairejustine recently posted…Trick Or Treat And A Blog Hop..My Profile

  7. five little doves

    Fab tips! Our dog isn’t bothered by fireworks at all which is weird as he is scared of his own shadow!! Some dogs really struggle don’t they? My friend has to sedate her dog every bonfire night!
    five little doves recently posted…Momsterslink November 3, 2016My Profile

  8. Rachel George, Ordinary Hopes

    I don’t have a pet but I have a child who is terrified of the noise of fireworks. I will be doing many of the same things with my son that you will with your dog!
    Rachel George, Ordinary Hopes recently posted…Parent or carer?My Profile

  9. As much as I love bonfire I also hate it equally. I live on the high street and though normally quite in my village they do fireworks likes they are competing with Russia or something. I wonder how pets feel like when I hate it that much

    • It is a worrisome time of the year indeed, for pet owners. Not really worried about Boots though, but different story for Doc 🙁

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