It is almost November and the fireworks season is fast approaching us. Here are a few tips to help you calm your pet during the firework season.
- Provide a den or hiding place where your pet can feel safe. This can be a simple as a bed behind the sofa or a blanket over a table that your pet can lie under.
- Ignore fearful behaviour, such a panting, shaking and whining. Dogs may pick up on their owner’s anxiety which could make the problem worse.
- In the run up to Bonfire Night walk your dog when it is still light outside. This reduces the possibility of fireworks being set off and your dog becoming worried.
- Make sure all windows, doors and cat flaps are securely closed during fireworks night. This will reduce the chances of your pets escaping.
- Provide distractions, for example new toys, chews or try to play a game of fetch or tug with your dog, while fireworks are happening.
- Draw curtains and switch on the TV to mask the noise from the fireworks. You can also leave a radio playing in the kitchen to block out some of the noise.
- DO NOT punish your pet if he soils in the house or gets destructive. This will only make your pet more distressed.
- Try to exercise your dog well before dark as this will decrease the chances of fireworks going off while you are out on a walk.
- Feed your dog a slightly higher carbohydrate meal (just add some boiled rice to your dog’s normal food) this will help make them feel sleepy.
- Try not to leave your pets alone while fireworks are going off, pets will be more relaxed when they have a familiar person with them during this time.
You can increase your dog’s feeling of security by using Adaptil – a calming pheromone This comes as a diffuser that you plug in as close to the den or hiding place as possible, or you can put an Adaptil collar on your dog so he will have the benefit of the pheromone where ever he goes. You should start using Adaptil at least a week before fireworks are expected if possible.
You can help your cat feel more secure by using a Feliway diffuser in your home. Feliway is a synthetic copy of the familiarisation facial pheromone that cats use to mark objects in their environment. It helps cats naturally cope with stressful situations and stops unwanted cat behaviour.
Don’t forget smaller pets that live outside. Cover hutches, pens and aviaries with blankets so that they are well sound-proofed. Provide extra bedding for your pets so that they have something to burrow in.
Please contact us if you are worried that your pet is fearful of fireworks as there are things we can do to help.