With all the whizz, pops, bangs and flashes, fireworks night (or nights!) can be a truly terrifying time for our pets – transforming even the bravest pet into a quivering wreck! So, here are our top-tips on how to keep your pet safe and relax during this fireworks season:
- Be prepared – Don’t leave it until the last minute, as some calming remedies may need to be given a few weeks in advance to be effective. This is important, as you want them to be working at full capacity before the first whizz popper gets launched!
- Hideouts & dens – Many cats and dogs like to hide away when they get scared. So, making them a comfy and cosy den is the perfect retreat. For our canine companions, this could be created by pulling out the sofa and popping a blanket down or use a blanket over the top of a table to transform it into the ideal hideout. For your kitty, a cardboard box on its side with their bed tucked inside or a hooded bed is puurfect! If you are a little short on time this year, check out our range of ready-made dog and cat hideout tee-pees
- Get your home ready – Before the fireworks start, shut all windows, close all curtains, pull blinds down and switch on the radio or TV to help drown out the sound of those pesky fireworks. You can also use calming plug-ins like Adaptil, Feliway and Pet Remedy close to their den or hideout. If you have several cat friends (who don’t usually spend time inside), ensure you have extra feeding and water stations set up and plenty of litter trays.
- Stay inside – For feline friends, lock their cat-flap and close all windows and keep them safely inside overnight. If your cat is not used to staying indoors, it may be worth practising this beforehand with some tasty treats.
- Keep calm – Your pet will be looking to you for reassurance during this scary time. So, if you look worried or fuss them it will reinforce that they have good reason to be worried and can add to their stress. Instead, stay calm and relaxed and behave as normal and your furry friend will follow your lead.
- Carb-tastic times! – Feeding your pooch some extra ‘carbs’ on their evening meal, for example, pasta or potato will naturally make them feel more sleepy and relaxed.
- Get your pet’s ID up to date – Make sure your pet’s microchip info is up to date and they have their tag on, just in case they get spooked by a firework and decide to make a dash for it!
- Walk in the light – Make sure you take your pooch out for a walk before it gets dark, to avoid any scary surprises!
- Desensitize – Sound therapy can help some dogs to overcome their noise phobia. Visit the Dog’s Trust and download a free copy of the ‘Sounds Scary’ noise therapy programme https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/dog-behaviour-health/sound-therapy-for-pets. However, this can take 8 weeks or more (depending on your dog) and should be done when they are calm and relaxed (so, not during the firework season). Although it may be too late this year, it’s worth remembering for next year and of course New Year’s Eve. Psst… it can also be helpful for cats too!
- Don’t forget rabbits and guineas – They get scared too! So, if, you have a rabbit or guinea pig that lives outdoors, move their hutch into a shed or garage to shield them from the flashes and bangs. Alternatively, if this is not possible, give them plenty of hay to burrow down in and use a loose breathable blanket to cover the front of their hutch. For house bunnies, a cardboard box on its side with a blanket can be the perfect hidey-hole.
Don’t forget, both public and private firework displays will be happening in the days leading up to and following the 5th of November, so get prepped well in advance to avoid getting caught out this firework season!