The 'Dogfather' gives you nine unexpected tips to keep your dog calm on Bonfire Night
A channel 4 presenter from Warwickshire has given dog owners nine tips to keep their pets calm on Bonfire Night and throughout the firework season.
Graeme Hall, from Broadwell, is the Dogfather and presenter of the Channel 4 show, Pets Behaving Badly.
He has teamed up with Centrica Connected Home, a smart home brand, to give dog owners nine alternative tips for the firework season.
Snuggle up: A warm, cosy home makes for a happy pet. Even when you are out of the house, with smart thermostats, 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 is a proven treatment for reducing anxiety and promoting calmness, 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.
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, your pet can relax along as you turn on the stereo
Comfort through scent: Some smells are 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 cup of tea: 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 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 - to make sure they are as happy as Larry, even when the loud bangs are going off.
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.
Or make the whole home a haven: If your doggy is more of a home-roamer, keeping constant track of their movements can be difficult. Use motion sensors, so that you can change the room’s temperature and light levels as your dog moves around.
Plan in advance: Take your dog for a big walk in the morning and a short one when you get home from work, 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.