How to help your pet this ‘firework season’

November 1, 2022

Like it or loathe it, the fireworks season is nearly with us once more and as we know, is not just confined to November 5th. Many animals are upset by the noises associated with fireworks but there are several things we can do to make things easier for them. The most important thing is to plan ahead and try and anticipate our pets’ reactions based on previous years’ experience. If it is their first exposure to fireworks, then you can try and make their introduction as gentle as possible. Some animals conceal their anxieties very well, so it is better to assume they will all be affected to some degree or another.

Follow these simple tips below to try and make your fireworks season a stress-free one…

Before the night

  • Build a den: all animals like to feel safe and cosy. Choose a place such as under a low table or inside a wardrobe where you can create a safe space for your pet to escape to if needed. Tables or collapsible kennels can be draped with a thick blanket or duvet for dogs, and cardboard boxes can be used for cats. Make the environment snug. The blankets will help muffle noise and help your pet to feel safer. Send us a picture of your den and you could win yourself a gift basket – see below for details (closing date 13/11/22).
  • Research calming techniques: some pets respond well to nutritional supplements to help calm them or pheromone therapy such as Adaptil/Feliway plug-ins. Thunder jackets which fit snugly around the body can also be useful for some dogs. We do have a special offer available on these products when purchased in branch before the 31st of December – please see here for details.
  • Seek veterinary help: Consider how your pet reacted last year – if you know their reaction is extreme despite using recommended calming methods, speak to your vet. Your vet may prescribe some anti-anxiety medication but this is best arranged a good week or so in advance of fireworks if you can, so you have things to hand when you need them.
  • Check your pets’ microchip details are up to date just in case they get scared and run off.
  • Consider sound therapies (best to start months in advance but can also be helpful in the leadup) – there’s more info and some sounds to play available via the Dogs Trust Website.

On the night

  • Walk your dog in the afternoon before it starts to get dark. Keep cats indoors all night. Close automatic cat flaps.
  • Feed your pet and top up their water before dusk.
  • Close all windows and curtains as soon as dusk comes.
  • Have the television or radio on to help blur the noise of the fireworks.
  • If you are at home, try playing more with your pet to create a distraction.
  • Try to behave normally and avoid showing signs of anxiety yourself.
  • If your pet comes to you for reassurance give them plenty of cuddles, never tell them off.

If there is any more advice or help you need for you or your pets during this fireworks season, please contact us at the surgery.

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