Today, with the help of leading smart home brand Hive, and pet psychologist Graeme Hall (presenter of Channel 4’s Pets Behaving Badly!) I’m going to share some tips on how we can make the 5th of November a night to remember for all the right reasons – and ensure your little hounds have as calm a night as possible.
During the Day
Tire out your Pets!
Before the fireworks get started, take your dogs out for a nice long walk so that they’re as knackered as possible during the evening. With my two little Dachshunds it doesn’t take much to tire them out so an hour long walk around Clapham Common is plenty. One thing to avoid however would be ball games and other types of fun that encourage too much excitement or hyperactivity – Graeme reminded us that a revved-up dog is the last thing you want before the fireworks begin!
Treat them to a feast.
A full dog is a content dog so make sure they’re not hungry when you leave the house or when the fireworks begin, but avoid any food colourings or treats that can make your pet hyperactive. It’s also important not to reward any anxious or nervous behaviour with treats. While you may think that a tasty bone is a great distraction from the loud noises, it’s actually going to make your pet think that you’re rewarding their anxious behaviour.
Cape by Coast
Jeans by Topshop
Boots by Russell & Bromley
Jumper by Club Monaco
Dexter & Dickens coats by Mutts & Hounds
Create a Cosy Home
Turn up the Temperature
Dexter & Dickens are at their most content when lounging in front of a warm fire, and while of course we never leave the fire burning when we leave the house, we do keep an eye on the temperature of the home using our Hive active heating. Keep an eye on the temperature of the house to make sure they will be cosy (and hopefully therefore dozy!) throughout the evening.
Drown out the Sounds
Music can be a great distraction from the loud bangs of fireworks and also create the right mood. I might sound crazy, but I leave my YouTube videos playing while we go out in the hope that they find my voice reassuring! For all they know I’m only in the other room! Switch on the radio and use the Hive Active Plug to control when you turn it on and off. (Also works really well for switching lights on and off when you’re abroad!)
Colour them Calm
Graeme let us know that pets perceive colours differently to us, and the glow of a room can have an impact on how calm your pet feels. He recommends creating using blue and purple hues to reassure your pet even if you aren’t at home – the Hive Active Light is perfect for this and can be adjusted from your app, no matter where you’re watching the fireworks from!
Monitor their Behaviour
It’s not just pets that need reassuring, but us ‘parents’ too! Using a device such as the Hive camera you can keep a close eye on your pets behaviour, and enjoy your night knowing your dogs are calm and comfortable. With the smart home devices (such as the smart light bulbs, Active plug and temperature control) you can adjust the ambience of your home to respond to your pets needs when the fireworks begin!
Tips for Stay At Home Dog Mums
Of course not all of us will be heading out this Bonfire night, and Graeme also shared some tips on how us ‘parents’ should behave if our pets start to get nervous.
Firstly, he mentioned that shakes are totally normal when dogs are nervous. Dexter does it quite a lot – when on the tube, when there’s another dog approaching, or if he’s ‘protecting’ us from a fox in the garden, but the important thing for us owners to remember is that we shouldn’t pet him or comfort him when he has the shakes because that can reinforce unwanted behaviour.
Shakes are a normal reaction when dogs are nervous. Make sure you only pet him when he stops shaking or does it less, otherwise you’ll reinforce the unwanted behaviour. It’s very different to people! It’s hard to go against your instincts as you want to cuddle your pet when they’re fearful, but instead, praise them when they are calm or brave instead.
Be conscious of how you act too as dogs are very good at reading body language – does anyone else’s dog get hyper when you put your lipstick and perfume on, because they know you’re about to go out?! So make sure you don’t look anxious or too excitable when the fireworks start – you need to keep your calm so that your pet does too!
How will you be spending your Bonfire night this year? Do you have any tips on how to keep your pet calm?
Thanks to Hive for sponsoring this post!