Firework Night is almost here, and this is our final post on our 5 Week Program – Fireworks Season Special Feature.
Do’s and Don’ts of Firework Night for Dog Owners
- Do provide a den or hiding place where your dog can feel safe – this can be an existing crate they already use, or a large cardboard box. Cover with blankets or towels to help muffle the bangs and flashes of the fireworks. It is important to prepare this well in advance of any expected fireworks, so your dog is happy being in this safe place when fireworks go off.
- Do walk your dog early in the evening to reduce the chances of your dog being outside when fireworks are let off.
- Don’t fuss over your dog. If you try and reassure your dog when they exhibit fearful behaviour you can reinforce this behaviour, which can increase the problem. If ignoring them is too hard, try to keep ‘jolly’ and play a game.
- Do ensure all windows, doors and cat flaps are closed to prevent them from escaping.
- Don’t punish your pet for excessive reactions to fireworks as this can make them more distressed.
- Do provide distractions such as interactive toys, treats or chews during the fireworks.
- Do stay in with your dog during fireworks season and keep a normal routine; this will help your dog to settle. Turning the radio / TV on can also help drown out the bangs.
- Do get your dog micro-chipped so that if they do run away, they can be traced when found.
- Do speak to your vet if you are concerned your dog may have developed a noise phobia and discuss appropriate medication well before Bonfire Night.
Dos and Don’ts of Firework Night for Cat Owners
- Do ensure your cat has easy access to its favourite hiding place, whether that is under the bed or on top of the cupboards. This is a place where they can relax and feel comfortable when scared.
- Don’t try and coax your cat out of a hiding place – they will emerge when they feel relaxed and ready.
- Do try and keep your cat inside during fireworks, securing doors, windows and cat flaps and closing the curtains to help muffle the bangs and flashes.
- Do remember to provide enough litter trays for your cats whilst they are indoors. This is especially important for cats that are used to toileting outside! Serious conditions such as feline lower urinary tract disease can result from cats being unable to urinate indoors.
- Don’t assume your cat is fine. Get your cat checked out at the vet to ensure there are no underlying medical concerns.
- Do provide interactive toys for your cat to play with or tasty treats to distract them from the fireworks.
- Do stay in with your cat during fireworks displays and keep routines as normal as possible; this will help your cat feel settled. Turning on the radio / TV will also help muffle the bangs and flashes.
- Don’t try to comfort or pick up your cat if it gets distressed, as fearful cats prefer to be left to cope on their own.
- Do get your cat micro-chipped so that if they do run away, they can be traced when found.
If you have missed out on our previous coverage on Firework Season and stress management for your pet’s fear of loud noises, make sure to check them out here:
The Vet Team @MedicAnimal.com