Advice on Fireworks and anxiety
Fireworks and noise phobias
Not all pets are afraid of fireworks but many are and this means some pet owners learn to dread this time of year. Here are some of our tips to help keep your pets safe & calm on bonfire night, during Diwali & at the New Year.
Preparations in advance
- Prepare a cosy den in the house. Choose a quiet place that your pet can have access to throughout the year that they can see as their sanctuary. Provide blankets they can snuggle down on or hide under and toys and don’t disturb them when they retreat to this area. Cats might prefer somewhere up high on a shelf, or in a cupboard.
- Plug in an Adaptil or Feliway diffuser to help make their den as reassuring as possible by dispersing calming chemicals (that we can’t smell) into the room. These are also available as sprays for a more intense burst or collars for dogs, so that the calming pherormones go with them when they are out & about as well as safely tucked up at home. Ask us about these products which we really think are fabulous and which we keep in stock.
- We also stock a range of non-prescription products that can be extremely useful at helping to keep your pet calm and relaxed. These include tablets, capsules & calming sprays as well as a special wrap-around shirt, proven to apply pressure & calm your dog, just like swaddling a baby.
- If your pet has had more extreme noise phobia in the past, let us know well in advance so we can introduce stronger medications that will help reduce anxiety & also help block their memory of any unpleasant event.
- For next year, allow plenty of time & our Vet Nurses can introduce you to ‘Sounds Scary’, a special therapy aimed at teaching your pet to be less afraid of loud noises. www.soundtherapy4pets.co.uk
On the day
- Walk dogs earlier in the day & keep all pets indoors after dark. Don't forget to lock the cat flap.
- Close windows & curtains to help muffle the sound & block the sight of fireworks
- Turn on the TV or radio
- Encourage your pet to retreat to their den, with toys & chews, but don’t worry if they prefer to retreat under the bed or behind the sofa, provided they are safe.
- Let them pace around if they want to or whine but don’t try to cuddle or reassure them as this will only reinforce the fear and confirm this is indeed something to be scared of. Instead, praise them when they are calm and don’t punish any unwanted behaviour
- Try to stay calm & relaxed yourself, as they will pick up on your nervousness
- Don’t leave them alone if possible, they will feel safer with you present
- Bring outdoor pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs in wherever possible. If not, cover their hutch with blankets or quilts and try to turn it so that they are not facing any displays.
- Make sure dogs and cats are easily identified in case they do escape. This means collars with tags plus microchips. Make sure your contact details are up to date with the microchip database
We have lots of tips on our Facebook page and if you like our page you can get them sent straight to your newsfeed. Just follow the link from this website.
Take a deep breath and enjoy a cosy night in.