19 October 2020Back to news
Firework season is just around the corner and this can sadly be a source of fear and distress for many animals. By planning ahead, there are a number of ways that you can help to prepare your pet and alleviate stress. We have collated a list of tips to help your pet cope.
Before the event
- At least two weeks before bonfire night you should prepare a safe and comfortable ‘den’ for your pet. They may then wish to hide here when the fireworks begin. This could be a covered crate with the door left open, or perhaps in the cupboard under the stairs. Cats often prefer to hide up high.
- This should ideally be a place with no windows to reduce noise, a white noise machine can help with this too by muffling sounds. Plugging in a Feliway classic or Adaptil can reduce stress, our staff can advise on the use of calming pheromone sprays or diffusers, and other supplements and medication which can help to reduce anxiety.
- Read more about how to create the ideal safe haven and training your dog to use it here.
- Make sure your pet is microchipped and wearing an up-to-date ID tag in case they become startled and manage to escape.
When fireworks are expected
- Ensure your dog is exercised during the day before a fireworks event. You could also try gradually changing walking time from dark hours to daylight hours in the run up to fireworks evening.
- Keep your pet indoors to keep them safe and secure whilst fireworks are being set off. Provide them with distractions such as food, treats and toys. Try not to feed them for several hours before sundown so they are hungry and more likely to engage with food and toys during fireworks.
- Bring your outdoor pets (rabbits, guinea pigs) into a quiet room, garage or shed if possible. Otherwise, you can cover their hutch to reduce noise and light levels.
- If your cat is used to going outdoors then make sure to provide them with access to a litter tray.
- Close all doors, windows and curtains. Don’t forget to ensure the cat or dog flap is also locked.
- Turn on the television or radio with the volume moderately high to drown out the noise of the fireworks. A white noise machine would work well too.
- Take your pet to their den area before the fireworks are due to start. Sit with them in this place and offer them tasty food and treats, keep talking to them to keep them relaxed.
- Never punish your pet for showing fear. They may struggle to respond to things they would do normally, such as when you ask them to sit, if they are feeling anxious.
If your pet suffers from a severe firework phobia please contact us to discuss this as occasionally medication may be necessary. With tailored advice it may be possible to introduce desensitisation or counter-conditioning for long term control of the problem, however this cannot be done until after the fireworks have finished. 01934 852422