BASC’s tips to keep dogs happy during firework season

BASC has produced a short film highlighting its top tips for keeping dogs calm in the run-up to Bonfire Night.

Alex Farrell, one of BASC’s game and gamekeeping officers, said: “Halloween and Bonfire night are two of the noisiest nights of the year and the associated events take place well beyond just these two nights. Many would think that gundogs would be unaffected. Although this can be true, the affects on young or nervous dogs can be very unsettling. We have come up with some tips to try and help reduce anxieties and reduce stress levels.”

BASC's top tips for keeping your gundog calm:

  • Have the TV or radio switched on to distract your dog from the noise.
  • Walk your dog before dusk. It may be some time before it’s safe to venture outside again for your dog to relieve himself.
  • If dogs are kept in the home shut all your doors, windows and curtains. Don’t forget to block off cat flaps to stop dogs (and cats) escaping. If they are kenneled, consider closing them in the bed area.  This will block out any scary flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks.
  • Don’t assume your garden is escape proof. If your dog needs to go out keep him on a lead just in case.
  • Don’t forget to top up the water bowl. Anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.
  • Check where and when firework displays are being held in your local area. Also ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning anything.

Ian Grindy, a member of BASC Council and chairman of its game shooting and gamekeeping committee, said: “Dogs are part of the family but it simply isn’t possible to explain the concept of Halloween and Bonfire Night to them. We hope that these tips will help to keep dogs calm for the duration of the events.”

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