Firework displays are no longer reserved for the traditional bonfire celebrations of November the 5th. This date now appears to symbolise the beginning of a firework season that often continues through to the New Year festivities.
Many pets become petrified upon hearing the loud bangs and whistles associated with fireworks and can experience a significant amount of stress and pet owners can feel helpless watching their pet become unsettled or even tremble.
There are positive ways in which we can help to minimise the distress caused to our pets by fireworks.
How you can help cats and dogs during firework season:
Create a safe, comfortable and quiet den/hiding place for your pet. Ensure that your pet always has access to this area during the firework season.
Close curtains, shut doors and windows, and put on the TV or radio (not too loudly) to mask the noise from the fireworks.
Keep your pets inside when fireworks are likely to be let off in the surrounding area. Lock cat flaps to ensure that your cat is kept safely inside. Walk your dog earlier in the day before the fireworks begin.
Leave your pet to self-settle if it whines, paces around or meows. Don’t fuss over it. Stay calm and act normally and then praise your pet when it is calm. Our natural response is to offer comfort when we see that our pet is afraid however this can act to confirm the pets fear.
Remaining calm and relaxed demonstrates to the pet that nothing bad is happening and all is safe.
Some pets do run away in a bid to escape the sounds of fireworks. Ensure that they are wearing some form of identification at all times and are micro chipped in case this does happen. (The law does require that every dog, while in a public place, wears a collar with the name and address of his owner inscribed on it or on a disc attached to it.)
How you can help small animals:
Small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters all need to be treated with special care when fireworks are being let off. These animals are very easily frightened.
Hutches/cages and enclosures should, if possible, be brought into a quiet room indoors, or into a gara, cage or shed. If it can not be brought inside then turn it around to face a wall or fence instead of an open garden.
Give your pet extra bedding to burrow into so it feels safe.
Cover all hutches and aviaries with thick blankets to block out the sight of fireworks and muffle the sound of the bangs, ensuring that ventilation is adequate.
Don’t forget: there are products available: Adaptil and DAP have a range of diffusers and sprays which release natural scents to relax and calm your pet.
For any more information on firework fear in pets visit you team at The Vet.