Bonfire night might be fun for those who love the noise and colour of 5th November.
But many dog owners dread this time of year as the whizz and bang of overhead fireworks leave their pets feeling terrified.
However, this year friendly Whitefield pub, New Grove Inn, offers a solution and safe haven for those four-legged friends who react badly to Guy Fawkes night.
The landlady of the New Grove Inn, Jo McDonald, is adapting her pub for the evening so that dog owners and their pets can have a relaxing, anxiety-free Bonfire Night.
As well as turning up the music to block out fireworks the pub will be offering a range of canine treats to distract dogs disturbed by the pyrotechnics outside.
“Bonfire Night can be lots of fun but sadly not for those dogs who get frightened by all the noise,” says Jo.
“And since we don`t have the space to host a bonfire, we thought it would be nice to offer an alternative. A place where owners can come out for the evening with their pets and know they won`t get worried or upset by bonfire night.
“As well as the music and the treats, the fact, so many people are around will also be a great distraction for dogs. We`ve always been a dog-friendly pub, and we want to do that bit more on bonfire night.”
As an added attraction, Jo will be serving a special bonfire night hot pot cooked up by her mum, Marion Tonge. Made to a secret family recipe, it will be dished up with hunks of crusty bread.
Animal experts believe dogs fear of fireworks come from a flight or fight response – since the noises are so loud and unlike any other natural sound. Dogs also have sensitive hearing, which may compound the problem.
Amongst those appreciating the alternative Bonfire Night at the New Grove Inn will be Rufus, a mixed Yorkshire terrier who is already a regular at the pub. Jo`s own dog, Groot, a three-year-old French bulldog, though not especially troubled by fireworks, will be on hand to keep other pet punters company.
Added Jo: “We`re looking forward to November 5th – knowing that we can offer somewhere to come for those dogs who`d rather give bonfire night a miss.”