Although this is an exciting time of year for us, the same cannot be said for our pets. As many as 40% of cats and dogs find the unpredictable noise and flashes created by fireworks frightening and very stressful, potentially putting their safety at risk.
How to keep your pets feeling safe and secure
Make sure all dogs and cats are kept inside after dark, plan dog walks accordingly and lock cat flaps. Check that fences and gates remain secure after periods of bad weather. This the time to check microchip details, collars and tags are up to date, should your pet be spooked into running away.
Keep curtains drawn and turn up the TV or radio. This will help block out some of the sound and visual effects. Get creative with blankets and bedding to make a safe den. Our dogs like to hide away in small dark places to help make themselves feel more secure. Place in their favourite toys and something of yours; the familiar smells will help them feel a little more at ease. Cats may be more comfortable in a high up spot.
Try to act normally, if they want to pace around a little, let them – if you are relaxed it will help them feel relaxed too. If they’re up for a treat and a game, engage them with some play as a distraction.
If you need extra help
There are lots of products on the market designed to help calm and relieve anxiety, speak to your vet about plug-in pheromone diffusers, sprays and natural calming capsules. These should be started in the weeks leading up to the fireworks season. Sometimes general precautions aren’t enough, and it may be appropriate to seek a veterinary consultation for prescription medications.
Lastly, spare a thought for our wildlife this firework season. If you’re building bonfires, don’t leave them constructed for long and check before lighting to make sure no little friends are hibernating inside. Dispose responsibly of any plastic litter created by fireworks. Sky or Chinese lanterns aren’t safe for animals or for the environment.
The nursing team at Severn Edge Vets, Much Wenlock