Dogs Trust

How to build a doggy den

A dog in a homemade doggy den

A doggy den is a great way to help your dogs to feel safe and secure during fireworks season.

A den acts as a safe place for a dog to retreat where they feel comfortable and know they won’t be disturbed. It’s really easy to make and can be put together with things you already have.

You will need:

  • Blankets
  • Cushions
  • Table/chairs
  • Your dog's favourite toys
  • Tasty chew or puzzle feeder
  • Water bowl

How to build the doggy den

  1. Use a table and chairs covered in blankets to create a safe space. The den should be large enough for the dog to be able to stand up, turn around and lay fully stretched out.
  2. Fill the den with soft blankets, cushions and your dog’s favourite toys to make them feel comfortable and at ease. You could also add a tasty chew or puzzle-feeder to help keep them occupied and a sprinkling of treats to encourage them in.
  3. Make sure your dog has access to clean drinking water in their den.
  4. Keep windows and curtains closed, and leave the radio or TV playing as this will help to mask the sound of fireworks.
  5. Make sure before the fireworks start, you close the blankets over to muffle out any scary noises.

Top tips for the perfect den

  • The den should be solely for your dog– however lovely and cosy it is, don’t be tempted to let anyone, including children, in. If you need them, call them out first or make a distraction that brings them out themselves (e.g. food!)
  • If you have more than one dog, they should each have their own den. They may choose to share their den but keep an eye to make sure both dogs are happy with this!
  • Help teach your children that this is a safe space for the dog by getting them involved in the building of den. They could create a label for the den or even write rules for it. E.g. Buddy’s Den Do Not Disturb!
  • When building the den, think about where best in the house to place it. Choose a place that isn’t busy where your dog is not going to be disturbed.
  • Keep the den away from any hazards like plug sockets or trailing wires and make sure it is accessible, so they don’t need to jump or climb in.
  • To make your den inviting to your dog, use things that already have a familiar scent to the dog – their favourite cushion or blanket for example.
  • Consider how you cover the den and where the entrance is. Some dogs will prefer it completed covered and others may prefer being able to see out.
  • Don’t be tempted to use the top of the den as a table for anything solid that might scare or harm the dog if knocked off.

An owner and their dog listening to Sounds Scary sound therapy Preparing for Firework Night

As well as building a doggy den, there is lots more you can do to help your dog if they are spooked by sparklers or rattled by rockets.

Our advice will help you to prepare your dog in the run up to firework season and what you can do on the night to help keep your dog happy.

How to prepare your dog for fireworks