With the nights rapidly drawing in and the clocks going back this weekend we are approaching Fireworks season again. Here are our top tips for helping keep your pets happy this Bonfire Night.
1. Provide a den or hiding place for your pet whilst fireworks are going off.
2. Use and Adaptil or Feliway Diffuser as close to the den or hiding place as possible, or where your pet spends most of its time. These release calming pheromones to help soothe their nerves.
3. Ignore fearful behaviour, dogs especially will pick up on their owners anxiety making the problem worse. Trying to soothe your pet will only indicate to them there is something scary to worry about, no matter how difficult try to act completely normally - doing something mundane and noisy like the hoovering can be really useful.
4. Walk your dog earlier in the day before fireworks start.
5. Ensure windows, doors and cat flaps remain closed during firework season to help pets escaping and to minimise the noise.
6. Keep your cats in at night and ensure that they have access to enough litter trays, one per cat and a spare (!) if you have a multi cat household.
7. With rabbits and guinea pigs move their hutch to a quiet area, provide them with extra bedding so they can hide away. Thick blankets or a dark cover to keep out the flashes will help too.
8. Provide distractions, in the form of new toys or chew. Draw curtains and have the TV/Radio on to mask the noise. Washing machine spin cycles are also good as is doing the hoovering!
9. DO NOT PUNISH YOUR PET!!! This will only make them more distressed and compound the problem next year.
10. Try not to leave your pets alone when fireworks are going off.
MOST IMPORTANT! If you are having difficulties and your pet is scared during fireworks then please speak to one of us at the surgery! There are plenty of other things that can help, ranging from natural sedatives, to swaddling T shirts to anxiolytic medication and we are always here to help.