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Still be prepared for Fireworks 2020 – Tips on creating a safe space

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
As mentioned in our previous posts, this year is likely to be very different with respect to firework displays, with potentially an increase in smaller household displays.

It is still important we are prepared for our pets. It can be a good idea to create a den a a couple of weeks before fireworks season so that they can start to recognise this space as their safe place. By taking your pet to the den and rewarding them with treats or toys you can quickly reinforce positive association.
  • Choose a quiet area within your house, or even a place your pet already feels safe
  • Using a crate is a great idea for dogs, which can easily be covered over with blankets to help reduce light and sound from the fireworks
  • For cats, a suitable den may be in the form of a cat igloo bed as these are soft and cosy, and will also help muffle the sound of the fireworks. Cats also like cardboard boxes as an alternative – pop a blanket inside to create a cosy place for them
  • You can place your pet’s bed or blanket, or even an item of your clothing in the den to provide a familiar smell
  • Provide them with some of their favourite toys or comforts to make them feel safe
  • Food puzzles are also a good idea to distract them from the noise of the fireworks such as a Kong for dogs, or kibble puzzle for cats
  • Always make sure they have access to water
  • The den should be accessible to your pet at all times
  • Consider installing a pheromone diffuser close to the area where the den is – this will need installing at least a week before
  • It is important not to disturb your pet whilst they are in the den, as this can contribute to their stress
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