Keep your dog calm and carry on...
this bonfire night
Many of us may like to celebrate occasions such as 5th November, New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year with fireworks, but dogs don’t feel the same way. With a little effort you can help ensure that the sudden bangs and flashes of light aren’t an ordeal for them. The last thing you want is a frightened runaway dog.
It’s better to assume your puppy or dog will be afraid of fireworks and to take some simple precautions before the event to help them feel more secure. Dogs show fear in several different ways, including trembling, barking, cowering in a corner, soiling your home, loss of appetite, pacing, panting and trying to run away.
To help avoid this, the first thing to do – well ahead of the firework event – is create a cosy, safe retreat for your dog. Use a cupboard or corner of a room and pad it with old cushions, familiar blankets and even some of your own clothes. Encourage your dog to use it by putting familiar toys in the den and by rewarding your dog when they go there.
On the actual day, walk your dog well before dark so they’re safely tucked indoors before the fireworks start. And feed them before dark too, so they don’t refuse food and go hungry.
Next, shut windows and doors, close blinds and draw curtains and turn on the TV, radio or some music to help blank out firework sounds. Try not to leave your dog alone at home – they’ll feel much more secure with you or someone familiar.
If your dog seems excessively stressed by fireworks, you may need to get veterinary advice or use a therapy pack, which provides specially recorded sounds to combine with simple training methods that may help your dog cope better.
By getting your dog microchipped, you’ll be helping ensure they can be identified if they should run away. But hopefully they’ll be happy to curl up with you indoors while the fireworks bang and crackle in the night sky.
So you’ve done your best to keep your dog calm and safe, but what if they still get into the odd scrape when things are back to normal? Tesco Bank Pet Insurance offers three levels of pet insurance, so to find out more about which product is right for you and your dog visit tescobank.com/pet. And as a standard benefit with every Tesco Bank Pet Insurance policy, you get 24/7 telephone access to vetfone® and their team of nurses qualified with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. vetfone® is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.
Losing your dog can be a distressing experience and it’s easy to panic and feel helpless if it happens, but there are several things you can do to try to find your pet.
If your dog has gone missing from your home, start your search in all your pet’s favourite hiding places. Look behind closed doors, in cupboards, sheds and garages. Not there? Extend your search, walk around locally, ask your immediate neighbours, check local gardens or places where your dog likes to go.
Contact local vets and pet rescue centres, as lost pets often get handed in there. Posters or leaflets including a good colour photo can help jog people’s memories and encourage them to look out for your pet.
If you go online or on social media such as Facebook, you’ll see many companies, charities, sites and blogs showing pictures of lost pets and advice on how to find them.
But, with one in three pets going missing during their lifetime, the most important thing you can do is have your pet microchipped. This won’t prevent them going missing but it greatly increases the chances of you and your dog being reunited if they do. The traditional collar and identification tag with name and number should be used alongside a microchip but never on their own as they can be removed and lost.
For more information about caring for your dog, please consult your veterinary surgeon.
Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.
Terms and conditions: Pets must be at least eight weeks old when cover starts. Pre-existing medical conditions are not covered and certain breeds of cats and dogs are also not covered. Full policy details are online at tescobank.com.
Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC173199. Registered Office: Interpoint Building, 22 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh EH12 5BH. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.