November 2020 is likely to be a very different Fireworks night. With a lack of larger public displays, we expect there will be a big increase in smaller home events. Therefore it is potentially even more important than ever to make sure you prepare your pet for this fireworks period.
We appreciate this time of year can be a stressful time for pets as well as their owners, with over 40% of dogs and a high population of cats in the UK suffering from a fear of fireworks.
Tips and ideas from MK Vet Group to help your pets during this time:
- Keep your pet indoors prior to when the fireworks are expected to begin. Remember to secure the cat flap if you have one
- Keep all doors and windows securely closed
- Make sure curtains are also pulled to muffle sound and block the light from the fireworks
- Keep internal doors open so your pets don’t feel enclosed or trapped
- Turn on the TV, radio or play music as background noise, it is a good idea to have this on in advance to the fireworks beginning
- Create a safe place for your pet to go when they feel stressed, this could be their bed or you can create a den
- Walk your dog earlier in the day to avoid the times when fireworks are expected to be started, and keep them on their lead at all times
- Make sure our small mammals are lock up in their hutches and cover their hutch over with a blanket to muffle noise
- Provide your cat with a litter tray if they are used to toileting outside
- Feed your pet their usual meal before the fireworks are expected to begin
- Make sure that your pet is wearing a ID tag and that their microchip details are up to date in case they do manage to escape
- It is important to avoid any form of punishment if your pet reacts to fireworks, this can lead to further anxiety
- Comforting your pet when they are scared is an area of controversy. Definitely try to be at home on days around fireworks night when there is likely to be the highest number of displays. It is advised that you don’t pay too much attention or ‘fuss’ over your pet when they are worried, as this can reinforce the fearful behaviour. For some individuals, it may help to hold them firmly and lean into them, while using long, firm massaging strokes rather than normal petting