This bonfire night please spare a thought for your four-legged friends. Whilst you may think of nothing better than listening to the evenings signature pops, whizzes and booms, to many of our pets it can be nothing short of terrifying.
To help manage, and minimise, your pet’s fear this autumn, here are some top tips for cats, dogs and outdoor pets on the night, as well as pre-emptively.
Cats and Dogs
In the run up to firework walk your dog when it is still light outside to reduce the possibility of fireworks being let off.
Ignore fearful behaviour, such as panting, shaking and whining. Dogs may pick up on their owners’ anxiety, making the problem worse.
Provide distractions, (e.g. new toys and chews) when fireworks are occurring. Draw curtains and put the TV on to mask the noise of fireworks.
Try not to leave your pets alone while fireworks are going off; they will be more relaxed when they have a familiar person with them.
Provide a den or hiding place where your pets can feel safe and make sure all windows, doors and cat flaps are securely closed, reducing the chance of your pets escaping.
Provide extra litter trays for cats, as they will be used more as your cat is confined to the house.
Zylkene, Feliway, Adaptil, or even a thundershirt are also very helpful during the firework period (ask at reception for more information)
Outdoor Pets (i.e. Rabbits/Guinea pigs etc.)
Bringing hutches inside is the best option but if this is not possible, partly cover hutches and other outside cages with blankets so that they have some sound-proofing
Make sure hutches and cages contain hiding places and secure areas where they can go to feel safe, and give plenty of bedding for sound proofing and to provide a comfy hiding place.
If you are having your own bonfire ensure it is nowhere near any pets and always check underneath a bonfire before lighting as hedgehogs may be hibernating there.