Plan ahead to reduce your pet's stress this fireworks season

Plan ahead to reduce your pet's stress levels this fireworks season
Fireworks season is just around the corner. This can be a source of fear and distress for many animals. So we have put together a list of tips to help your pet cope throughout the fireworks season.

Some animals can learn to be tolerant of firework noises but for many this season is a misery. By planning ahead there are a number of ways that you can help to prepare your pet and reduce their stress.

Before the event:

  • Two weeks before the firework event 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 located under the bed or in the cupboard under the stairs. Cats often prefer to hide up high.
  • Our staff can advise on the use of calming pheromone sprays/diffusers and other remedies which can help to reduce anxiety.
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped and wearing an up-to-date ID tag in case they become startled and manage to escape.

On the night of the event:

  • Take your dog for an extra-long walk during daylight hours.
  • Keep your pet indoors to keep them safe and secure whilst fireworks are being set off. Provide them with distractions such as treats or a new toy.
  • 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/dog flap is also locked.
  • Turn on the television/radio with the volume moderately high to drown out the noise of the fireworks.
  • Ignore unusual behaviour or fearful behaviour. Act in a calm and relaxed manner. If you are worried and stressed your pet may pick on this.
  • NEVER punish your pet for showing fearful behaviour.

If your pet suffers from a severe firework phobia please contact the Small Animal Practice team 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.