This time of year lots of pets get anxious and frightened of the loud bangs and flashes created by fireworks. Bonfire night and the weeks surrounding it can be such a traumatic time, so if your pet is scared, there are lots of things you can do to help. Follow our top tips to make fireworks celebrations less frightening for your pet and talk to your vet who will, if necessary, be able to refer you to a professional clinical animal behaviourist.
Keeping cats and dogs secure
- Make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if they want to and has access to this place at all times. For example, this may be under some furniture or in a cupboard.
- Make sure your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise. Have your pets microchipped in case they do escape – by law, your dog should already be microchipped.
- During fireworks seasons, walk dogs during daylight hours and keep cats and dogs indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off.
- At nightfall, close windows and curtains and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of fireworks.
- Never punish your pets when they are scared as this will only make things worse in the long run.
- Talk to your vet about pheromone diffusers. These disperse calming chemicals into the room and may be a good option for your dog or cat
Don’t forget small animals
- If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure that your pets are still able to look out.
- Provide lots of extra bedding so your pets have something to burrow in.
- Consider bringing them indoors. This should be done gradually, so you will need to plan ahead.
For more helpful advice download the RSPCA fireworks frighten animals leaflet