Remember remember the 5th of November.... and in fact most of October and November!
Fireworks are no longer a once a year occurrence, much to the dismay of our nervous pets at home. The popularity of fireworks has seen more and more people holding their own displays at home in their gardens and the close proximity can be a nightmare for animals living nearby.
How do I know if my pet is scared?
Animals can show fear in a variety of ways, usually it will be displayed in the following ways;
What can I do?
Some pets will happily see out the firework season whilst others need a hand to hold. The best advise is to START EARLY... wait no, START NOW!
Getting your pets accustomed to the sound of fireworks can help desensitize them to the noise of whizzing and banging when the time comes. Many dog experts have found that by playing firework sounds in the background on a low volume, pets can actually become more comfortable and in some cases can learn to ignore them completely.
CD's can be bought or Youtube offers playlists with firework sounds such as the one below :
Give them a safe hiding place –
When animals are scared, their instinct is to hide away and so we shouldn't try to stop this natural behaviour. For some pets their usual bed may be adequate, but for others a specially made hideaway will really help them settle. It may be a blanket over the dining table, a quiet corner behind the sofa it really doesn't matter as long as it makes them feel safe and hidden.
Block it all out –
You may be able to hide the sound of firework rockets with the TV or radio, so give the neighbours a kind warning and turn up the volume when you hear fireworks outside. Make sure windows and doors are also kept closed to further mute the sounds.
Don't be a night owl –
The chances of fireworks going off during daylight hours is much lower, so take advantage of this fact and walk dogs during the day rather than at night. Remember it gets dark early at this time of year, so schedule your dog walks accordingly. Cats should be kept indoors, as a spooked cat is more likely to make irrational decisions and run out in front of cars etc.
Smell the Pheromones–
Some people swear by pheromone collars, sprays and diffusers whilst others haven't seen such clear results so it's clearly not a one case suits all deal. We see some clients who have had great results with pheromones and research has shown them to work in many cases so ask our team about Pet Remedy, adaptil and Feliway before the fireworks start.
Pressure garments –
Research has shown that in some cases swaddling animals in times of fear can help to reduce their stress levels. An easier way of doing this is with tight fitting garments like the Thundershirt, specially designed to 'hug' your pet and reduce anxiety
If your pet has a severe fear of fireworks and you’ve tried but failed to help them with the techniques listed above, it may be time to speak to a Veterinary Surgeon. In some cases medication can be prescribed to ease the stress of bonfire night, however this is always subject to a full veterinary health check and all medication should only be prescribed by a Veterinary professional.