Fireworks can cause our furry friends serious stress and discomfort. It’s estimated that 45% of dogs show signs of fear when hearing firework bangs, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many things you can do to help your pet feel at ease despite the noise.
Walk your dog before dusk as it’s usually this time that fireworks begin. It’s better for your dog to be safe and sound inside the family home.
Make sure cats are inside before night fall; they are much more likely to get stressed if they are outside. If you do intend on letting your cats outside during fireworks, consider micro chipping them (if not already) so that you can find them if they run away in a fright.
For smaller animals: provide bedding they can burrow into. Covering the outside of their cage/ pen with blankets will minimize the sound waves and help your small animal sleep.
- Create a quiet, comfy area with blankets and/or pillows for your pet to protect them from the noise of fireworks. Keep all windows shut to ensure no sound seeps in – if this is not possible, close your curtains to muffle the sound.
- Keep your pet occupied with toys and chews.
- Consider turning up the volume of your TV/Radio to distract your pets.
- If you have children, ask them to keep the noise down and behave calmly. Try to remain calm yourself, your pet may pick up on your nervous energy.
- Reward calm and quite behaviour in your pets, not nervous behaviour.
- For particularly anxious pets, you may wish to consider a pheromone spray. Sometimes called "dog appeasing pheromones", these sprays contain synthetic versions of a pheromone secreted by the mother during lactation. Pheromone sprays are also useful for other potentially stressful situations, such as car rides. There are also special dog collars which release dog appeasing pheromones - although these can be costly.