Fireworks and furry friends can be a disaster waiting to happen and every year, many animals are reported missing after a night of bangs and whistles.
Prevention is better than cure in this case, so if your pet does get upset by the tiniest of pops, here are some helpful tips:
- Take your dog out for a long walk and feed all pets mid to late afternoon. Tired pets with full tummies are more likely to be sleepy
- If you are leaving your dog at home while you watch the display, make sure your pet is safely tucked away in a kennel or in a safe and secure room in the house
- Keep your cat inside during this time. Lock the cat flap and make sure there is a litter tray inside
- Draw the curtains to help keep the noise down and the lights out. Provide a cosy bed with the distraction of new toy or treat
- If your cat gets very anxious, put him/her in a cat cage with a blanket or towel over the top. Do the same with any caged animals like rabbits or guinea pigs
- Put the TV or some music on. This will help detract from the noise outside
- If your vet has prescribed any sedative drugs for the evening, ensure they are given at the time advised, for maximum effectiveness
- Ensure your pet is either wearing a collar with identification or is microchipped, just in case they escape
- Don't punish your pet if he or she is scared. Punishment will make him/her more anxious and confirms that there is something to be frightened of
- Don't reassure your pet either (this is the hardest one!). By reassuring, you are actually rewarding the fear behaviour and increasing the chance of it becoming far worse next time. Wait for your dog or cat to recover from the fear and THEN give all the attention and praise you want
Remember... the danger doesn't stop with the noise! Before taking your dog outside or letting your cat out after a nearby fireworks' display, check the area for hot embers or fireworks that may have been lit but did not ignite. Firework components, whether exploded or unexploded, are toxic.
If you need more advice or think your pet may need sedating during a planned fireworks display, please contact us for advice. Your pet may need to have a consultation with a vet before a sedative can be prescribed. We also stock Pet Calm, an over-the-counter homeopathic remedy which may help.