Helping Your Pet Cope With Fireworks
As the weather turns colder and wetter and the days get shorter, there’s some compensation that some of our favourite festivals and holidays also happen at this time of year. First, we have Halloween, closely followed by Diwali and Bonfire Night, and after that it’s only a short wait before Christmas and New Year.
Not everyone looks forward to all these celebrations, however. Many pet owners dread this time of year. That’s because at least three of them – Diwali, Bonfire Night and New Year – can often be accompanied by large amounts of noisy fireworks being let off.
Many of our pets don’t just hate the noise fireworks make, they can also be actively terrified by them, and that can be quite distressing for a caring owner. Here are a few ideas to help your pet cope.
Keep your pets indoors
One of the first reactions for both cats and dogs is to bolt in search of a place of safety. If they’re in the house, at least you’ll know that they’re going to be somewhere safe. Make sure any dog walks have been completed before darkness falls, and if your cat likes to roam, give yourself plenty of time to tempt him or her back in with their favourite treat before everything starts to get going.
Secure all doors and windows
Cats especially can always find a way out, so make sure there isn’t one by securing all potential exit points – they may be scared indoors, but they’ll be a lot worse if they get outside.
Give them somewhere safe to hide
Even if they’re indoors, many cats and dogs will want to find somewhere they can feel safe. Build them a cosy den in the quietest part of the house, and put some of their favourite things in there to keep them company, such as a blanket or a toy.
Make sure your pet is microchipped
Should the worst happen and your pet is outside when fireworks start to go off, and he or she makes a bolt for it, there is a chance that they could end up somewhere unfamiliar and not know their way back. You’ll stand a far better chance of getting them back safely if they’ve been microchipped, as it means they can be quickly identified and returned home.
Play some music or put on the telly
Any sounds in the house may well distract your pet from what’s going on outside. It’s unlikely to drown out anything happening close by, but those fireworks being let off further away might be disguised – although don’t forget that your pet has far more acute hearing than you do.
Stay with them
Tempting as it may be to go out and enjoy the fireworks yourself, it’s always best to leave at least one member of the family at home with a scared pet to help comfort them.
If they go and hide somewhere – leave them there
If your pet feels safer somewhere, no matter how strange a place it may seem to you, let them stay there. If they feel more comfortable there, that can only be a good thing – and you trying to drag them out won’t help a bit!
Talk to your vet
If your pet suffers really badly during fireworks, it might be worth talking to your vet, who should be able to give you something to help calm your pet down. Common solutions include plug-in diffusers and tablets that will reduce their levels of anxiety.
Give them a cuddle!
Make sure you spend time with your pet and if they like a cuddle, give them one!
Of course, it’s not just cats and dogs that are scared of the noise of fireworks, but they are the ones most likely to be able to make a run for it. Nevertheless, be aware of how rabbits and rodents are reacting and give them a warm and safe place to hide if they look like they need it. Those of you who keep fish should be able to carry on without having to worry!
Unfortunately, fireworks aren’t just restricted to the big nights in question, but those are the times when there will be the most being set off, perhaps along with the nearest weekend nights to the 5th of November. So, although there may be the occasional firework in the days leading up to and immediately following the big nights, it’s unlikely that there will be the continual barrage that happens at other times.
Here at Green Lane Farm Boarding Kennels, we’re used to looking after animals in our cattery and boarding kennels at holiday times when there are fireworks. We’re experienced in all kinds of pet care, and we know how to keep our guests safe and happy. We also have qualified vets on hand should we need them.
We’re easily accessible to cats and dogs living around Kingston and Chessington in Surrey and are happy to welcome new guests at any time of year.
Get in touch with us today to find out more.