Did you know it is estimated that 80% of pets show signs of fear or distress related to fireworks?
Because pets only hear fireworks for a limited time each year, they do not have the opportunity to become desensitised to the noise.
We are here to help – speak to one of our practices today to see how we can support you and your pets. Read below on some of our top tips for the firework season:
Build your dog a safe haven or den a few weeks before the firework season starts. This should be situated in a quiet area of your home. Many people will create a den by using a dog crate covered with a blanket, but a space under a piece of furniture will do the job just as well.
Walk them during the day and try to toilet them before any fireworks start.
When it goes dark close windows and curtains to muffle the sound and block out the flashing.
Put some music on to muffle the sounds of the fireworks.
Never shout at, or punish your dog for being scared, you can reassure them if they find comfort from this.
Ensure that all doors are closed and take great care if you open a door to the outside in case your dog tries to escape.
If you have moved house since your dog was microchipped don’t forget to update your details on the register.
Stay in the same room as your pet’s den so that they don’t feel alone. You could play with a toy and see if your dog wants to come out of the den, but don’t force them.
There are several products available which can help with pet anxiety. These include pheromone diffusers, tablets and collars.
Clinical Animal Behaviourists are an excellent option to help a dog who is distressed by the firework season. You can find one in your area here https://www.apbc.org.uk/find-an-apbc-member/or contact us and we can help refer you and your dog.
Many cats are fearful of fireworks.
Cats like to have a bolt hole – somewhere that they feel safe and secure. This may be under furniture or on top of cupboards.
If your cat goes to their bolt hole leave them alone and do not try to coax them out. If your cat already has a bolt hole that you have witnessed them using before then make sure they have access to it during the firework season.
Alternatively, you can build a den away from windows. Cover it with blankets to muffle the noise and provide some treats and toys to make it a happy place.
During firework season make sure your cat is safely inside when it goes dark and ensure that you secure the doors, windows, and cat flap.
Close the curtains to reduce the noise and flashes from fireworks.
Put a TV or radio on, for some background noise.
Try not to leave your cat home alone.
Make sure your cat has access to a litter tray, before and during the firework season.
Make sure your cat is microchipped and then if they do manage to escape you stand a much greater chance of being reunited with them.
There are products available from your vet to help reduce your cat’s stress. These include diffusers, sprays, and tablets. A diffuser placed in the room where the cat spends most of their time for 48 hours before the fireworks begin will help to increase their sense of security.
Outdoor Rabbits/ and Guinea Pigs
If the hutch is attached to a run, make sure that your pet is in the hutch area before it goes dark and shut the door so it can’t get back into the run.
If you can, bring the hutch inside. If this is not possible partially cover the hutch with blankets to provide some soundproofing. You could always bring your rabbit inside and cuddle them in a blanket or put them in a carrier during the worst of the fireworks.
Put extra hay or straw into the hutch for your pet to burrow in. An upturned cardboard box with holes cut in the sides, filled with hay provides a great hidey hole for bunnies.
Turn the hutch to face the wall or fence to block out the flashes.
When fireworks are going off make sure you reassure your rabbit or guinea pig by talking to them.
Close the windows and draw the curtains to cut down on the noise and flashes.
Make sure all means of escape are shut off from them.
Put on the TV or some music for some background noise.
Talk to them, cuddle them, and reassure them.
Be very careful if you open the outside door that your rabbit can’t escape.