Fireworks frighten a lot of animals, making it a worrying time for a lot of owners. In conjunction with Vets4Pets Cleveleys here are some top tips for Bonfire night and your pet.
Bonfire Night and your Pet
Thankfully, the disturbance from fireworks doesn’t go on for as long as it used to do some years ago, following the restriction in the sale of fireworks to a shorter timespan each year.
Now, the majority of the noise usually lasts for a couple of weeks around bonfire night itself, rather than for a month as it once used to!
Household pets like cats and dogs can react quite differently to the noise from fireworks. Some are oblivious and some go practically hysterical – it all depends on the individual. You know your pet, so here are some ideas to help if your pet really doesn’t like loud bangs:
Top Tips for Bonfire Night and your Pet
1. Provide a safe place for your pet to go to.
If they usually run for cover when they are frightened, put a sheet over a table and make them somewhere dark and safe to hide, you’ll know what your pet likes best.
2. Put your dog out early to do its business.
Avoid taking it out for a walk on the nights when the fireworks are flying. Make sure your cat is in for the night – provide a litter tray.
3. Make the house comfortable.
Close the curtains early and put the TV or radio on to drown out the noise of bangers.
4. Don’t make a fuss.
Keep calm around your pets so they don’t pick up the stress from you. It’s best not to make too much fuss because that will reward their anxious behaviour, could confuse them and make them worse. Whatever you do don’t be cross – they can’t help being frightened. Just keep calm!
5. Desensitisation cds.
There can be played quietly in advance of fireworks night. Start at a low volume increase the sound until the pet gets used to it. It will need to be built up over a period of some weeks.
6. Pheromone diffusers and sprays.
Work by emitting the scents that make your cat or dog feel secure. Used on bonfire night they respond to the pheromone rather than the noise. However, they can take several weeks to work so you need to start this one early.
7. Seek the advice of your vet.
Generally a good place to start for the worst cases. Some of the more effective solutions are only available from your vet, and need to be started well in advance. Severe cases might need medication from the vet to calm them down.
8. Don’t forget small outdoor pets.
Rabbits and guinea pigs can be upset at bonfire night too. Try to move their hutch somewhere quieter or cover it with carpet or a blanket to muffle bangs and flashes. Don’t suffocate them though and make sure they can get enough air.
Might be big animals but they can be frightened and are best kept stabled when fireworks are around. You’ll know how they react and whether they like a radio on for company, or whether they will tolerate damp cotton wool ear plugs. Plenty of hay to eat might keep their mind off the noise.
If in doubt seek the advice of your vet about bonfire night and your pet.
Hedgehogs and Bonfires
If you’re planning on having a bonfire this year PLEASE make sure that you don’t burn any wildlife, and in particular hedgehogs.
Poor old Mrs Tiggywinkle is in enough trouble as it is, from strimmers, pesticides and a lack of habitat. Please don’t make their chances of survival any worse than they are by cremating any hedgehogs in your bonfire this year.
Ideally, store your bonfire wood in a different place to where your fire will be burnt. That way you’ll find any sleeping hedgehogs when you do assemble your fire. If you can’t do that, please lift the pile with broom handles and shine a torch underneath. Look carefully and listen for any rustling before lighting the fire.
Brought to you in association with Vets4Pets Cleveleys
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