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Preparing for Fireworks season: Tips on how to help your pet

Fireworks season can be a stressful time for many, with over 40% of dogs and high population of cats in the UK suffering from a fear of fireworks.

Here are some ideas to help your pets during this time:
  • Keep them indoors prior to when the fireworks are due to start.
  • Keep all doors and windows securely closed.
  • Make sure curtains are pulled closed to muffle the sound and block the light from the fireworks.
  • Keep internal doors open so they don’t feel enclosed.
  • Put the TV, radio or music on to provide background noise. It is advised to start this before the fireworks start.
  • Ensure your pet has a safe place to go when they feel distressed, this may be their own bed, or create a den.
  • Take your dog for a walk earlier in the day before the fireworks start and kept on the lead at all times.
  • Provide your cat with a litter tray if they are used to toileting outdoors.
  • Feed them their usual meal before the fireworks are due to start.
  • Ensure your pet is wearing an ID tag or microchip details are up to date in such case that they do run away or manage to escape.
  • Absolutely avoid any form of punishment. This will simple lead to more anxiety and even cause your pet to become aggressive.
  • Comforting you animal when they are scared is a controversial area. Definitely try to be at home during any known firework events. Although you shouldn’t pet or over fuss your animal when they are worried, as this can reinforce the fearful behaviour, it may help some pets to hold them firmly and lean into them, while using long, form massaging strokes, rather than normal petting.

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