Animal Health Column: Pets and fireworks

While we enjoy the party atmosphere that comes with big displays of loud noise, colour, and flashing lights this is not always a fun time for our animals. 

Approximately 80% of our pets are scared of fireworks. This fear is not always obvious so we need to make fireworks season as stress-free as we can for our pets. Fireworks season does not just apply to Guy Fawkes but right through the summer to New Years Eve celebrations

Your pet needs a safe place to be. Provide a hiding place or move bedding to a quieter, more secure area.

Shut doors, curtains, and windows to keep as much of the flashing lights and noise out as possible. Turning the TV or radio on can help muffle the noise. Make sure all breakables are put away, just in case your pet does panic.

Distractions are ideal. Get creative with toys and chews to keep your pet busy. Treat balls are great for this.

Treats during this scary time can offer positive reinforcement if your pet is food orientated. Think of it as rewarding for cool, calm and collected behaviour.

Stay home with your pet if possible. They will be less stressed with you there for reassurance.

Do not punish your pet for being afraid, damaging things in panic, or soiling inside as a result of fear. Punishment will make this time of year much worse and can exacerbate fearful behaviour.

Provide a litter tray inside for your cat. Toileting outside with flashing lights, big booms and noise can be scary.

 Ensure your pet is wearing a collar with an identification tag and that their microchip details are up to date. In the event that your pet does get a fright and get lost, this is the best chance they have of getting back to you.

Be prepared. Find out where and when your local fireworks displays are going to be held.

Come and see us. We can offer advice on coping mechanisms, over the counter products that help with stress and fear, or an Anexa Vet can prescribe medication if required in severe cases.