10 top tips for owners and their pets on Bonfire Night

For many people across the UK, Bonfire Night is regarded as a celebration and event to remember.

However, for our animals, it can be a frightening and distressing time.

Unlike most owners, pets don’t associate loud firework noise and flashes of light with enjoyment.

In fact, most pets have very acute hearing and loud noises and whistles could frighten them and cause them to run away.

So, with this in mind, we’ve put together our 10 top tips, which are carefully designed to keep your pet free from stress and happy this Bonfire Night.

– Ensure that your pet is kept indoors. Do leave internal doors open though so that your pet doesn’t feel trapped and can move around.

– Prepare a place indoors for your pet to settle should they start to feel distressed during the bonfire or firework display.

– If you have a dog, try to take it for a walk during daylight hours to avoid them being outside if/when the fireworks start. Keep animals such as cats indoors at all times and put a litter tray down.

– Close windows and curtains and put on relaxing music to help calm your pet.

– If you are indoors during the firework display ignore the sounds as much as you possibly can so that your animal follows your example and realizes that there’s nothing to worry about. Continue to pay no attention to your pet if and when they become distressed. Through carrying on completely normally you can show your pet that the fireworks are nothing to be concerned about.

– If your pet has a selection of toys try to encourage them to play with them so that they are distracted from the noise outside.

– If your pet lives outside cover the majority of the pen/hutch/cage so that they are protected from the sound and flashes. Do however leave a small opening so that your animal can see out. If you have a small pet the hutch should be put inside your house or garage hours before the fireworks/bonfire starts.

– Does your pet have identification attached? If your pet does happen to run away then there is a greater chance that they’ll be returned to you if they have an ID tag and a microchip.

– If you are making your own bonfire safely lock your pet indoors earlier in the day. Before lighting a bonfire, check underneath to make sure that there isn’t a hedgehog or two hibernating there.

– If you are concerned about your pet at any time, call the veterinary centre you are registered with immediately for advice and further assistance.

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Safety tips for pet owners this Halloween

The wonderful tradition of Halloween is almost upon us, the excitement of the occasion could prove to be a distracting time for your pets; stop to have a read of the safety tips we have outlined below:

No Human Treats

This Halloween make sure you keep your treats out of reach. Chocolate is especially dangerous for your dogs as it contains a stimulant (like coffee) which is poisonous to dogs. If eaten, some symptoms to look out for are vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness and incoordination. If you believe your dog may have eaten some chocolate, seek veterinary advice from a vet as soon as possible.

Pet Pranks

Each year many pets are subject to pranks by trick or treaters so keeping them indoors will minimise the risk of any cruel incidents. One main problem we find around Halloween is black cats go missing, so be extra vigilant if you own a black cat.


It is a common misconception that pumpkins can cause stomach upset with our pets, especially dogs. However they are high in fibre, low in fat and cholesterol and loaded with beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamins A and C, so are actually good for them.

Lighting Pumpkins/Candles

Lit pumpkins, candles and jack o’lanterns set the atmosphere for the Halloween tradition. Be sure to keep your creative carvings on high worktops and out of reach from your pets to minimise the risk of an accident with a lit candle.


In the same breath, be aware of potential risks other decorations such as lights and wires as they can become a choking, tripping, entanglement and electrocution hazard. Especially if they are new decorations that your pet isn’t used to. Be sure to take the time to make them familiar with their new surroundings and obstacles.

Don’t leave pets out

Pets often get uneasy with strangers knocking on the door, even more so if they are dressed up in a scary Halloween costumes. They, and you, will have a much better time if they are kept away, with a playful distraction like our long lasting chew toy the Busy Buddy Ultra Stratos http://store.intl.petsafe.net/en-gb/busy-buddy-ultra-stratos.


With new visitors knocking on your door and bringing with them squirty trick or treat pranks, remember your pets can have react to any product that ends up on your entrance hall floor, and ingest any residue left on the floor.


If you decide to dress up your beloved pet this Halloween, first make sure they are comfortable with the idea. By forcing them into an outfit, you could cause unnecessary stress, therefore be mindful of the fitting in case it is constricting their movement or causes difficulty breathing.

ID Tags

This Halloween, make sure you have the best chance of finding your pet if they get lost with an up-to-date- tag or microchipped. Make sure your address details are up to date on the microchip database.


We all know how excited our pets can be when there’s a knock on the door. Not all visitors will be comfortable with pets, so keep dogs and cats away from the door during this time to ensure a fun filled Halloween.

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Rugby World Cup: Fun sports you and your dog will love

Taking part in competitive sport is natural for humans, it’s part of our DNA. The need to achieve, the desire to win and the added benefits of staying healthy and happy drive us to compete in all types of sporting activity.

Our dogs share many of the same benefits as humans do from partaking in exercise; teamwork and a sense of achievement are the end-goal, building confidence and improving our physical and mental well-being. Allowing your dog to hone their natural hunting skills can be as character-building as it is health-inducing for your four-legged friend, and the fitter you both are, the more happy years you will spend together.

So if the Rugby world cup has motivated you to get moving, why not take your dog down to the local park and enjoy some quality time together with these tried and tested dog-friendly sports:

Disc/frisbee dog

Disc dog is a great way to build trust between yourself and your dog by working together to complete a task. Disc dog requires very little to start playing; all you need is a Frisbee and some open space. Start by throwing the frisbee over short distance and then gradually extend the distance to keep your furry friend challenged. Key skills here are trust (that you will be there when he returns), paw-eye coordination (to collect that frisbee and bring it back to you), and concentration. If your dog turns out to be a natural you always join a club to help improve your dogs retrieval abilities. This provides opportunities to socialise it with other like-minded, completive pooches. You never know, you may meet some new friends too.

Agility training

Dog agility is a popular sport where you direct your dog through a variety of obstacles such as a tunnel, teeter-totter, weave poles, pause table, and standard jumps. It provides a great opportunity to build the bond between yourself and your dog whilst providing a really fun way to exercise together; you lead the way, praise good behaviours and teach the benefits of responding to commands and tasks. These transferable skills go way beyond the arena; if your dog trusts the instructions you give, and recognises the benefits of conforming this will in turn lead to a harmonious home-life together too.

Whilst agility training is suitable for most dogs, it can be too much for young pups, who are still learning how to sit and roll over. Agility training is therefore best suited to dogs that are at least one year old or are fully grown, and is an excellent follow-on class for you and your dog to enjoy once you’ve finished basic training classes.

It’s also important to make sure that your dog is fit and well enough to take part; it may be necessary to work together to build each others fitness before you begin agility classes, as it’s great physical exercise for both dog and owner. If you’re not sure whether you or your dog are ready for agility classes, seek advice from your local agility instructor, Vet or GP.


Flyball is a relay race that provides requires coordination and physical fitness, and is suitable for all dog breeds. The game requires teams of four dogs to partake in a relay race; jumping over hurdles towards a spring-loader releasing tennis balls, they quickly learn their task is to retrieve the tennis ball at the end of the hurdles and returning it to their owner. This is great physical exercise for you dog, and will require a competitive streak and ability to understand commands to fulfil the task. Any dog who likes to chase a ball is likely to love flyball, and it’s an excellent way for your dog to burn up excess energy.

As with Agility training, your dog must be fit and well enough to take part in Flyball. If you’re not sure, seek advice from an expert.


We all like a kick-about, including our furry friends. Why not practice your passing skills with your dog?  Sharing a fun activity with your pooch in the great outdoors can be the perfect stress reliever after a long week in the office. Dogs like to push the ball around with their heads; following the ball as it rolls exercises their curiosity and provides great exercise too.

It’s best to use a larger ball that can’t be punctured or choked on, as we always want our play-time to be worry-free. Our treat dispensing Busy Buddy® Kibble Nibble™ provides the perfect opportunity to develop your furry friends fancy footwork as they push the ball around to gain access to the treats inside. Thought sharing time with you was enough for your pooch? Add in a Busy Buddy® Kibble Nibble™ and you’re sure to have hours of fun together.

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