Submitted by Louise on Mon, 17/10/2016 - 09:30
firework advice for pets

A lot of dogs and cats are frightened by the noise and sight of fireworks and the firework season seems to last longer each year. Now is the time to start thinking about and preparing for the firework season.

Dogs and cats can show their fear in different ways, they may cower and try to hide or try to run away or escape. They may soil the house when they wouldn’t normally. Dogs may bark incessantly, dig up the carpet or pace around restlessly. Cats may also be restless or overgroom themselves.

You can help prepare your pet with these tips:

  • Come and talk to a vet or nurse several weeks in advance, if you think your pet might need help. There are sound desensitation resources and medications that might help.

  • Prepare a den (a safe hiding place) for your dog and get them used to it several weeks in advance. Make sure it is comfortable and has familiar blankets etc in it. Cover the den with blankets to muffle the sound. You can use toys and treats in it to help your pet feel at home. Make sure your pet has free access to the den at all times. Cats often like to hide somewhere high up like on top of a cupboard- don’t try and tempt them out of their hiding place as they will cope better being allowed to hide.

  • Make sure your pet’s identification and microchip information is up-to-date just in case they go missing

  • Using a calming supplement such as Zylkene or a pheromone diffuser such as Adaptil (for dogs) or Feliway Classic (for cats) can help relax and calm your pets. It is worth starting these a couple of weeks before the fireworks start.

  • Walk your dog in the daylight and keep your pets safe indoors when fireworks are likely to be going off.

  • Don’t forget small animals out outdoor pets- hutches and pens can be partly covered with blankets to help muffle sounds in one section. On the night make sure your pets are safe indoors and close all windows and cat-flaps so they can’t escape. Have several litter-trays available if your cat is not used to being kept inside. Turn the television on or play music to help cover the sounds of fireworks. Try not to leave your pets alone during fireworks but don’t force them to come to you if they just want to hide. Try and provide distractions but don’t get angry with them or punish them for fearful behaviour.                                           

  •    If you need further advice our nurses and vets are happy to help.