How to Keep your Pets Safe During Fireworks Season

Nov 1, 2017 | 0 comments

Fireworks are enjoyed by people year-round, but now that we’re approaching Bonfire night and New Year’s, fireworks will be a much more frequent occurrence. Although people may love them, our pets do not. This time of year can be the most stressful time of year for our pets, the loud bangs and whistles can cause them actual pain in their ears. Across the country vets have a rise in the number of pets requiring medication to help them during such stressful times. Also many vets, charities and rehoming centres will have animals that have been found and brought in after being scared and having run away from home.

If your pet gets scared of fireworks, or you are worried about how your pets will cope during the fireworks season, we have plenty of advice to help keep both you and your pets safe and at ease.

 

Get your pets prepared
  • Create a ‘den’ – Try to find out where your pet likes to sleep, whether that is under some furniture or in a wardrobe. That place can be their den so make sure it is accessible to them at all times. For many animals when they get scared they will hide, this is where the den will become their safe place. Since hiding helps them cope with their fear, it is a good idea to pad it with blankets and old pillows as this will help to soundproof it.
  • In the days or weeks leading up to fireworks night, make sure they have full access to the den. For dogs in particular, you can offer them treats and give them praise for when they use it. This will help your dog to associate the den with good things.
  • You could also use a de-stress plug-in. These give off a scent that helps to calm pets. We recommend Pet Remedy, which de-stresses and calms all pets, even humans!
  • It’s very important to have your pet both microchipped and wearing a pet ID tag. Animals’ automatic response when scared is to flee and hide, making it very easy for them to get lost. Pet ID is essential to get your beloved pet back home with you as soon as possible. If you haven’t already signed up for a Pets Bureau Membership, now is the perfect time to do so! As well as providing you and your pet with 24/7/365 cover and the protection of storing up to 6 different contact details, should your pet go missing these contact details would be sent to the finder of your pet within minutes, meaning your furry friend will be reunited with you quickly and safely.
  • Your vet is always a good person to discuss any concerns with. They will always be happy to give you advice or guidance if you have worries about your pet’s phobia.
What to do on the night of the fireworks display
  • Be sure to take your dog out for a walk before the fireworks begin. For cat owners, make sure you call them in before the fireworks start.
  • Don’t tie your dog up outside, or leave them in the garden or car while fireworks are being let off. Always keep your pets inside when fireworks are being let off.
  • Check that all windows, curtains, doors and cat flaps are closed and keep them closed throughout the night.
  • It is a good idea to play music or have the television on to help mask the sounds.
  • If your pet is pacing around, meowing, barking, whining or hiding in a corner, let them. They’re just trying to find safety. If they’re hiding under your bed or in a corner, don’t try coaxing them out, instead act normal and relaxed. However if a stoke or cuddle helps your pet to relax then it is okay to do that. Just always stay calm and praise calm behaviour, not fearfuless.
  • Try not to leave your pets alone on potentially such frightening nights. However if you do go out, close all curtains and leave either the radio or the TV on to dull the noise of the fireworks. If when you arrive home your pet has been destructive or had an accident, don’t get angry. This will only add to their anxiety and besides, it’s not their fault they’re scared!
  • Please don’t take your dogs to firework displays. Although some may not seem frightened, excessive panting and yawning can both be signals of your dog being stressed. Also remember your dog’s hearing is much more acute than ours so the loud bangs and whistles can be painful for your dog’s ears.
  • If your cats are scared, don’t restrain them. Cats prefer to control how they cope, so let them hide as this will be where they feel safest.

 

Signs of stress

Unlike us, our pets don’t understand why there are flashes and loud bangs outside, so understandably they become anxious and stressed when fireworks go off. Here are some signs that a stressed pet may show.

Cats
• Loss of appetite
Trembling
• Pacing back and forth
Excessive meowing
• Trying to run away
Cowering
• Hiding
Soiling the house

Dogs
• Trembling
Excessive barking
• Cowering
Hiding
• Trying to run away
Soiling the house
• Loss of appetite
Pacing
• Panting
Clinging to owners

 

So as we head into the fireworks season, please keep safe! We hope you have found this article helpful. Please feel free to leave any ideas or advice you’d recommend in the comments section below. The more we can help people and their pets the merrier!

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