It’s approaching that time of year again
Fireworks can be very frightening for your pets. You can take a few simple steps to try and help keep them as calm as possible.
In the run up:
- Make sure your pet has somewhere accessible they can hide. This can be under furniture, in a cupboard or you can build a den/hiding place for them.
- Ensure their microchip is up to date so that in the event they do run away there is an increased chance of you being reunited with them.
- Discuss possible calming treatments with your vets such as pheromone diffusers (Feliway or Adaptil), supplements such as zylkene or other medications.
- You could also try thundershirts, which calm them down by hugging them on pressure points making them feel more secure. Seehttp://www.thundershirt.co.uk for more information.
On the day:
- Make sure you walk your dog when it is light so that fireworks are less likely to be set off. Keep them on the lead, just in-case firework noises cause them to bolt.
- Keep cats and dogs inside when fireworks are likely to be set off.
- At nightfall close all windows and curtains and use the tv or radio to muffle noise from outside.
- Feed them as normal, before displays disrupt them when possible,
- Provide extra litter trays for cats and lots of toys and distractions for dogs near their safe places. Toys such as kongs with treats inside to keep them entertained for a while are a good idea.
During the display:
- Do not react to the fireworks yourself.
- Ignore unusual behaviour; only reassure them if they come to you first. Leave them alone unless they are likely to cause themselves harm.
- Never punish or fuss over your pet when they are scared, this will only make things worse in the long run.
- Praise your pet when they are calm.
- Make sure cat flaps and exits are blocked so that they can’t escape if they are scared by sudden noises. Leave internal doors open so they do not feel trapped.
- If your pet is distressed try not to leave them alone during displays. If you do have to leave them do not get angry with them if you find they have been destructive while distressed, this will only make them more scared in the future.
Don’t forget small animals!
- If you have pets outside, where possible bring their hutches inside for the evening, or into a garage or shed.
- Where this is not possible you can partially cover the hutches with a blanket to soften the noise, however be careful to make sure they still have enough ventilation.
- Give them plenty of extra bedding for them to hide in.