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While we love the cosiness of the autumnal and winter months, this time of year can create a lot of anxiety for our pets when fireworks are used at celebrations such as; Guy Fawkes and New Year’s Eve. Luckily, there is lots you can do to help your pet cope with the stress of the fireworks season.
We advise that you behave as you normally would, don’t make a big fuss, as pets can often pick up on their owner’s stress.
Below are some tips to help you make your pets more comfortable during the fireworks season.
- Rabbits and guinea pigs should be brought into sheds, unused garages or conservatories and kept a close eye on. Loud bangs can be terrifying for them.
- Keep your pets indoors. Once they are inside, make sure all windows, doors and cat flaps are securely closed. This will reduce the chances of your pets bolting/running off.
- It helps to draw the curtains, turn on the TV and distract them with toys, but don’t force them to play if they don’t want to. Give them affection, but no more than usual.
- Provide extra litter trays for cats if they are not used to being confined to the house.
- Walk dogs earlier in the day before the fireworks are likely to start.
- Don’t leave your pets on their own, they will be more relaxed around familiar faces.
- Don’t punish or get angry with your pets.
- Building a den for your pet gives them somewhere to hide when they feel worried.
Prepare the den a few weeks before so that your pet can get used to it. Allow your pet free access to the den and do not force them to use it.
- There are products on the market that can help alleviate your pets’ fear. These ideally need to be started some weeks before fireworks start. We stock products such as; www.feliway.com/uk, www.adaptil.com/uk, and www.zylkenepet.co.uk.
- The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPA) is urging people to check bonfires for hedgehogs and other wildlife that may have burrowed underneath for shelter before lighting.
- Behaviour therapy can help. Use these FREE downloads from Dog’s Trust to gradually desensitise your pet to fireworks and loud noises:
- Scary Sounds Guide - http://bit.ly/2MItyDc
- Scary Sounds - http://bit.ly/2PhLYwx
Advice for pet owners during fireworks season - an infographic created by the RSPCA