When fireworks are let off sporadically, stress and anxiety becomes common amongst dogs and cats. This can continue from October to the New Year and can be an agonising time for pets, as well as their owners.
For a pet affected by loud noises, the fireworks season can be a terrifying time. If your pet becomes stressed they could display this in a number of ways, such as, vocalisation, shaking, aggression, reduced appetite and ears pinned back.
There are, however many things that can be done to help keep your pets calm, which include:
Provide a den
This can be an enclosed ‘safe place’ for your pet to hide. Cover the top and all sides of a crate, table or cupboard near the centre of the home, or where they have previously hidden. Make it comfortable. You can even add a jumper or t-shirt of yours that will smell familiar to them. Let them come and go as they please.
During the fireworks stay calm yourself and don’t react to any fireworks that go off, as your pet will react to you. Try not to worry and don’t get angry with your pet or over fuss them, just reassure them gently and be as normal and routine as possible.
Keep pets indoors
To prevent extra stress and anxiety from pets, keep them indoors during the fireworks. For cats who like to go outdoors, make sure you place plenty of litter trays around the house, especially by usual exit points. In multiple cat homes, make sure you have one for each cat. Make sure your dog has had an opportunity to go to the toilet outside well before it gets dark and then keep them inside.
Mask the sound of fireworks
Try and mask the sound of fireworks by putting the TV on or playing some music, especially if animals are left home alone. You could also muffle the sound of the fireworks by closing the curtains and windows.
Take your dog for walks in the day
Burn extra energy by taking your pets on longer walks during the day. Avoid walking dogs at night when fireworks are being set off, try morning or afternoon walks.
Provide your dog or cat with plenty of toys to distract them from the loud noises. Ignore the fireworks yourself and play with them, but don’t force them to.
Stick to your routine
Maintain your routine and try to keep all other routines as normal as possible, such as feeding times. This will help to reduce any stress for your pet.
Prepare in advance
Consider preparing with advice from your vet, book an appointment or come to an open surgery where we can talk through the best options for your pet. If your pet is particularly anxious your vet might recommend using nutracalm, which is specifically formulated by vets to naturally calm anxious pets and to help reduce unwanted or unruly behaviour.
If you are worried about your pet during this time, please do not hesitate to contact us.