While fireworks displays can be extremely fun for us, many pets can be frightening and sometimes traumatised by loud bangs and flashes so as we again prepare for the firework season (Dewali, bonfire night [or week] and a little further away Christmas and New Year’s Eve) we thought we’d offer some advice and tips on the key steps you could take to help pets feel less anxious during this potentially stressful period.
Clear signs that your pet is afraid and upset can include trembling and shaking, excessive barking, pacing and panting, hiding behind furniture and seeming unusually clingy. Dogs and cats alike may refuse to eat, try and run away, and soil the house. Signs rabbits are stressed include stamping feet, staying motionless and attempts to escape and many other animals also exhibit similar signs of stress.
A wide range of products, including specially formulated tablets and capsules, are now available from Tadley Pet Supplies that can help calm your pets should they becoming anxious because of fireworks or other reasons throughout the year. We can provide advice on what could be best in your particular circumstances so why not drop us am email to learn more. There are also some more general things you should consider to help an anxious pet:
Before the fireworks
Create a den as some pets prefer to hide under a bed, in the corner of a room, or somewhere they feel safe – so by creating a comfortable space that’s padded with pillows and blankets to help soundproof it, your pet will have a secure and safe environment when it’s needed.
You should also encourage your pets with a few treats to use the den and praise them further when they do to create a positive connection with their new hiding place. Don’t however force your pet to use the space if they’ve found a preferred spot. Reward any calm behaviour and try to ignore any anxious behaviour.
It’s now law that your dog should be microchipped so if it does get panicked and try to escape, this should ensure that it is reunited if they do run away. Also ensure a collar with a legible tag is on your cat or dog.
Also if you’re going to be setting off fireworks, let your neighbours know in advance, so if they have pets they can also take precautions. Then on the nights you anticipate fireworks will be let off:
On the nights
Keep pets away from firework displays and plan to walk your dog early. Also look to keep a cat inside and consider moving other animals like rabbits inside for a few nights, particularly on the day of any local firework displays.
Keep doors, windows and cat flaps shut and locked so your pets can’t escape and risk being endangered or getting lost.
Put the TV, radio or music on to help mask loud and frightening bangs and close the curtains to distract your pet.
While it’s good to keep your pet company, don’t over-comfort them by trying to cuddle them as it will reinforce their fear and anxiety, potentially making the problem worse. Remain calm and ignore any anxious behaviour.