Bonfire Night hack – Dog lover reveals cheap way to keep pets calm in fireworks as vet advises not to 'overreact'

PET owners hoping to keep animals calm are being advised not to "overact" by a vet as a dog lover shares a simple hack to help ahead of Bonfire Night.

Ahead of festivities getting underway, anyone with four-legged friends will be planning ways to keep their animals safe tonight.

Dawn Holmes came up with one unconventional method to soothe dogs scared of loud bangs after seeing her dog Hosay become unsettled as fireworks exploded across the Rhuddlan skies in Wales.

Desperate to comfort her beloved canine, she created a special headpiece using a pair of thick tights and cotton wool.

She said: "I thought there has got to be an inexpensive solution."

In a video posted to social media, Dawn explains how to get the invention to not fall off while demonstrating on Hosay.

She carefully places the cotton wool beneath the dog's ears and then wraps the tights around its head.

The real trick is getting the headpiece to stay on long enough for the pet to benefit from it, but Dawn urges anyone who tries it at home to be optimistic.

She said: "It may take a few tries to get them used to it, but it's worth it when the fireworks come.

"I hope it can help other people's dogs as well."

Dawn felt as though she had no other option but to come up with something unique after seeing her dog distressed.

"My dog is very badly affected by fireworks and I'd tried several things in the past like turning up the TV or giving him a snuggle blanket but that didn't work so I tried this at the weekend and it helped a lot."

Her quick-thinking ingenuity comes as animal owners are urged to remain calm as celebrations get underway.


Vet Dr Pete Wedderburn says four-fifths of pet owners say their dogs and cats are afraid of fireworks – and this is what can escalate into "hysterical terror".

He explains their hearing is much more sensitive therefore fireworks sound far louder to them.

"Pets also don’t understand why fireworks are happening: they could mean the start of an all-out war," Dr Wedderburn wrote for The Mirror.

He explains if pets have a frightening first-time with fireworks, it can trigger them to associate loud noises with fear.

He said: "With each subsequent exposure to fireworks, they become more and more terrified."

This can be broken though by using a few different techniques like staying with pets on Bonfire Night.

He recommends also providing "a den" or hiding place where they can feel safe.

By exercising pets in the daytime, he says this is a good way of prepping them to make sure they are tired into the night.

He also says it can be a good idea to ask vet for calming medication if your pet has a history of severe fireworks fear.

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