With Halloween and Diwali this month, Bonfire Night next and Christmas and New Year celebrations just around the corner, it is a busy time of year for fireworks.
While they delight us as they light up the sky, they can frighten our pets – making them scared, on edge and anxious. However, there are things you can do to reduce the stress our furry friends feel as things go bang.
Here are our top tips:
While most people think fireworks are mostly upsetting for dogs and larger animals, small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, suffer just as much – if not more. To ensure your little pal feels safe during the celebrations it is best if you can bring their hutch in from outside and place somewhere quiet indoors. If they are already inside, move them to somewhere quieter. Give them extra bedding to burrow in to make them feel safe and if you feel it’s appropriate, cover their hutch or cage with a blanket to block out the sight and sound of fireworks – just make sure there is plenty of ventilation.
Cats And Dogs
If you know a firework display is likely to be happening nearby, make sure your cat or dog is indoors before darkness. Make sure windows, doors and cat flaps are closed to prevent them from escaping. Draw curtains and put the TV or radio on to help block out some of the noise. Why not create a comfy place for your furry friend to snuggle, this could be under a table, behind the sofa or underneath a bed?
If your pet barks, whines, meows or paces, comfort them but do not try to coax them out of it – let them find their safe space in their own time. Cuddling them and talking to them may help, but they may just prefer to hide until the fireworks stop. Need to leave the house? While it is better you stay with your pet while fireworks are going off, it can not always be avoided. If your cat or dog has had an accident or been destructive on your return, do not get stressed with them – this will only make the experience more upsetting for them.
If you know your pet is particularly affected by fireworks. Consult your vet or an animal behaviourist who can give you further advice.
While it is now law to have dogs microchipped, it is worth thinking about getting your cat chipped too. Animals are more likely to go missing when they are spooked, and microchipping allows for pets and their owners to be reunited far quicker.
By Shelley Welti