The loud bangs from fireworks and bonfires created in advance can be harmful to your dogs and cats.
Most animals will be afraid of the loud bangs that fireworks make, so here are a few hints and tips to make the firework season as stress free as possible for your dogs and cats...
1. Hiding Places - your pets natural instinct will be to run and hide somewhere small and dark, so you can help by creating hiding places for your pets. If you have a dog that uses a crate, make sure that it's covered with a blanket or towel to create a den. If not, you can create a similar area with a large table cloth, under a bed or somewhere similar that your pet will feel secure in. Make it as comfy and homely as possible by placing their favourite toys and bed in the hiding place.
2. Mask the Noise - reduce the impact of the bangs by turning TVs and radio's on to help mask the noise. Remember that classical music and talk programmes will have a more soothing effect than dance or pop music. And when selecting a movie or tv show to watch, try to avoid action sequences with more loud bangs.
3. Flashing Lights - its not just the bangs... the flashing lights can be scary too! So remember to draw all curtains and blinds to reduce the flashes.
4. Your Behaviour - try not to change your behaviour too much, and remain calm and relaxed so that your pets don't pick up on any stress or excitement.
5. Toilet Breaks - take your dog out for toilet breaks early in the evening as it is just starting to get dark before the fireworks begin, and again later in the evening when they appear to be over. For cats, ensure you have a litter tray available.
6. Treats & Toys - find or buy things to occupy your pet with to distract them from the fireworks. Items like rawhide chews and long lasting treats can help to occupy your dog and are relatively inexpensive.
7. Medications & Alternative Therapies - many pets can react extremely to the noises and flashes of fireworks, and in these cases it's advisable to speak with your vet to find a suitable plan to help your dog or cat.
I hope that your pets have as stress free a firework season as possible and please contact me if there is any way that I can help to make this time easier for you and them. And please don't forget that fireworks night does not mean that the firw