Helping Your Pets Deal with Fireworks

It’s that time of year when many of us enjoy the bangs/flashes and whizzes of firework displays. However many of our pets are not so keen. They can find the sudden loud noises and flashing lights very stressful. It is thought that 45% of our pets find fireworks stressful when they hear them.

Here are a very tips on how to help our furry friends during the firework season

There are many things that we can do to reduce their stress and help our pets to deal with it. November 5th is the traditional day to celebrate with fireworks but the season can extend several weeks either side of this date. Other occasions such as weddings or new years eve may also be nights when fireworks may be set off.

Before firework season begins

  • Provide your dog with a “safe area”. This should be a quiet place in your home where your dog feels safe. They should have access to this area even when you are out. It is beneficial to leave treats or toys in this area so that it is associated with positive experiences. It will then become a place that your dog will want to go to. It is hoped that your dog will want to go to this area if it hears fireworks as they will feel that this is somewhere associated with positive feelings and is somewhere where no harm will come to them.
  • Provide hiding areas for your cat such as a blanket covered upturned chair or a cardboard box.
  • Ensure that your cat or dog is microchipped in case they become startled and run off.
  • Partly cover outdoor rabbit/guinea pig cages and provide lots of bedding to allow the animals to burrow and hide.
  • Find out where local displays are going to be so that you can plan ahead to make the evening as stress free as possible for your pet.
  • Desensitisation programmes are available on line or on DVD and can be tried or used in conjunction with the help and advice of an animal behaviourist.

On the firework night

  • Walk your dog during daylight hours to avoid times when fireworks are likely to be set off.
  • Keep your cats inside.
  • Consider bringing your rabbits or guinea pigs inside.
  • Close your windows and shut the curtains to try and muffle the sound of the fireworks and make the flashing lights less obvious.
  • Put the radio or television on try and muffle the firework noise.
  • Ignore the fireworks yourself and try distracting your pet with toys or treats.
  • Try taking your dog to its “safe place” and provide toys or distractions such as treats and don’t leave your pet alone.
  • Pheromone diffusers such as DAP or Feliway can be plugged in near your pet.
  • Supplements such as Scullcap and Valerian, Zylkene or Nutracalm may be useful and are often given in the weeks running up to the fireworks display.
  • If your pet has suffered with severe anxiety with fireworks in the past then an oral sedative may be prescribed by your vet.

We hope this article on Helping Your Pets Deal with Fireworks will help you. Please get in touch with us if you have any further questions.

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