Firework season, including Bonfire Night, can cause a lot of stress in our pets; many of us find it heartbreaking and simply don’t know what to do. This is why we have 10 Top Tips for you. Being prepared for the bangs and the sudden flashes which turn cats and dogs into scared and nervous wrecks is key. Hopefully, some of these tips might help you make it less stressful for your cat or dog.
Always remember that how you feel will get picked up by your pet, so staying calm and relaxed yourself will help a great deal. If you start getting frustrated or anxious because of your pet feeling scared it is not going to help them, unfortunately.
What you can do beforehand…
Build a den (crate with blankets or make a tent with thick blankets or old duvets). This might be something you wish to do before bonfire night.
Remember: if you do use a crate to NOT lock it – ever.
You are wanting to create a place of safety which is a little sound and sight insulated.
Consider herbal remedies like rescue remedy, valerian & skullcap, chamomile, or a few drops of lavender oil (dogs only) on bedding even before bonfire night.
Make sure your dog/cat is wearing an identification tag and it has the right contact details such as your mobile number, postcode, house number and whether or not the animal is microchipped.
Walk your dog in daylight and avoid going out when it’s dark – give plenty of exercise so they are naturally tired.
Consider keeping your cat in during the day in case of early fireworks and restricting your cat on evenings and at night.
Get your dog accustomed to a tight t-shirt, Thundershirt or touch wrap.
This can help some dogs with their anxiety because it’s snugness- it’s having the feeling of being swaddled which can help calm them down.
On evenings with lots of noise & bangs…
Put soothing music on, perhaps even a tad louder than normal.
There is even special cat and dog music CDs or audio downloads. It might not be to your taste but it will be helpful for your pet.
At times of stress don’t “over cuddle”. Let your pet be, but be reassuring.
Some dogs find it comforting if you just sit near them, others prefer to be left alone.
Consider offering your dog a good chew eg chomping on a frozen meaty bone or stuffed trachea or pizzle, we have some lovely chews here.
Read more about choosing the right bone here.
Don’t tell your pet off for being frightened and behaving differently- remember they are stressed, anxious and scared and want reassurance from you.
Make sure doors, windows and gates are kept closed to prevent animals from bolting out. It’s very common for pets to try and escape as they simply don’t know what to do with themselves.