Help fight firework fear for your four-legged friends
It is a stressful time of year for all pets and their owners - an estimated 45 per cent of dogs in the UK showing signs of fear when they hear fireworks, which tend to start in October and then right through to New Year in many areas.
Firework phobia could be a thing of the past for pets
Some great ideas to help your pet feel safe include:
- Using a Sounds Scary! CD to help dogs learn to be less afraid of loud noises.
- Use pheromone diffusers that can help dogs and cats feel calmer.
- Provide constant access to safe hiding places.
- Close windows and curtains and turn on the radio or TV to help mask the sounds from outside and ensure your pets are better able to cope.
- Don’t show anger towards your dog or cat if they appear frightened – this will only convince the animals that there really is something to be afraid of.
- If your pets live outside partly cover the cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure your pet is still able to look out and provide extra bedding for small animals so they have something to burrow in.
- Always speak to your vet or animal behaviourist for further advice.
Take care when planning your fireworks event
Of course we would also ask organisers to be vigilant and give plenty of notice to people in the area. We would also ask for organisers to show some consideration and not let off any fireworks too close to places where animals are – for example farm animals or zoos.
Wildlife can also be burned to death by bonfires so organisers should check them before lighting to make sure there are no wild animals using them as a hiding place. It helps to build the bonfire as near as possible to the time of lighting, to ensure hedgehogs and other wildlife are not sleeping in the pile when it is lit.