Fireworks season - love it or hate it
How can we look after our animals during the firework season?
The most unsettling time for some pets during the year is firework season. The best thing we can do to help them through what can be a very traumatic time for some of them is....
Unfortunately, you can't prepare for the neighbours having a go in their backyard. It is however worth checking with your local council when the planned events take place and be prepared for those nights.
There are three main priorities you need to consider:
- Reduce the amount of fireworks noise your pet can hear.
- Prevent them from being able to see the fireworks exploding.
- Reduce their anxiety.
Easier said than done!
In the run up to fireworks season and on the night ensure your dog is walked and fed before dark. Ensure your house and garden are secure, the last thing you want is your dog trying to escape out of fear. It is a good idea to try settle your pets in familiar safe surroundings. This will help them cope with the noise. Create a cosy den for your pets to retreat to where they will feel most safe. This could be a crate or even under a desk. If you can, close the curtains and turn up the volume on your TV or radio to drown out the firework noises.
It is best to keep your cats indoors during fireworks season and keep cat flaps and windows closed. Be sure to provide them with litter trays as well.
If you find these steps aren’t having the desired effect or your animal is really struggling to cope, there are a number of different products on the market that can help to reduce anxiety. Some of these are faster acting while others require longer to become effective. Your pet and circumstances will determine what’s best to use. There are some wonderful over the counter natural remedies available or alternatively you can always consult your vet. There are also special anxiety reducing vests available, they work by swaddling your pet like a baby. When worn, they provide a gentle and constant pressure to calm all types of anxiety, fear, and over-excitement issues.
Noise acclimatising CD’s can also be useful. With many noise CD's or downloadable content available, it can give you the opportunity to introduce your dog to a variety of potentially disturbing noises in a controlled manner which will desensitise them to the fireworks in the long run.
While the fireworks are happening, try stay relaxed and provide a calm environment for your animals. Never punish your pets for cowering or reacting to the fireworks as this will intensify their fear. Be as relaxed and normal as you can and hopefully, they will mirror the mood. If you can, don’t leave your pets alone in the house during the fireworks period to avoid panic and possible injury. If your pets still interact with you, play games or enjoy some reward-based training to keep them occupied. Just be careful not to reward for reacting to the noise. It is better to act as if there’s nothing to worry about. However, if your pet comes to you for comfort don't ignore him. Gently stroke them along their sides and ears as this may help to calm them down. Never force a dog outside when fireworks are being let off, and even if your dog enjoys fireworks never let them off their lead outdoors when fireworks are being let off. It takes just one loud bang to startle a dog and scare it off in a panic. It is compulsory to have your dogs microchipped according to the gov.uk website. Therefore, it is so important to get your pets chipped for when they are found you can be re-united as soon as possible. It is an inexpensive procedure which lasts a lifetime.
Continue to keep a close eye on your pet even after the fireworks have stopped. If they are still not coping well, you can seek advice from your vet on how to help them further.
Our stores continue to stock the over the counter remedies because of the positive feedback we receive. You can drop in or call and our staff will be more than happy to provide further information.