"Remember, remember the 5th of November"
Although bonfire night is an exciting evening for all the family, it is not something that your pet enjoys or understands. Naturally, your dog, cat or other pets will go through fear and stress because of the loud noises and bright lights. Remember their safety and comfort is of upmost importance on any firework night.
They will suffer from different reactions depending on their age and characteristics. There are all sorts of behavioural signs to keep an eye out for. They may become withdrawn and quiet, often seeking a hiding place, suffer from uncontrollable shaking, vocalisation and even fouling in the house. Although these symptoms can be very alarming for the pet owner to witness and for the pet to experience, even the most fearful of pets can be helped with a combination of behavioural and medical treatments.
Firstly make sure all pets are safely inside the house well before dark. Fit all dog walks and outside activities in during daylight hours, ensuring they are all in and settled by mid afternoon. It sounds stupid to point out, but don't walk your dog when the fireworks have started and certainly do not take your dog to a firework display. Some people still need to be told the obvious. If they bark at the noise don't think it means they're enjoying it and joining in, it means they are stressed!
Even if your pet is deaf they will still find the vibrations and flashing colours alarming. Close the curtains early in the evening before any fireworks begin. Block up cat flaps and put a television or radio on at a high volume to block sounds from outside the house. Don't pay any attention if he paces around or whines, and do not reassure him as this will only make him think there is something to worry about. Stay calm and act normally even if you want to comfort them. It will be reassuring enough for them that you are at home.
If your pet finds a hiding place during fireworks, don't disturb them let them come out of their own free will when they feel safe to do so. You can pre-empt this by making a den for your pet in a safe place in case they wish to hide later on. Under the stairs, in a wardrobe, or under a table make good hiding areas.
If your pet accidentally fouls in the home don't tell them off this is just a stressful reaction to the noise. There are herbal, pheromone and dietary supplement options available to help reduce fear and anxiety. Feliway for cats in spray and diffuser form can assist in calming your cat down. Dog appeasing pheromone products are available on our website too.
Smaller animals like guinea pigs, ferrets, rabbits and birds all need to be treated with extra care on firework night. These animals can easily die of heart attacks as a result of the loud noises and flashes of colours. If you can bring hutches and enclosures into a cool, quiet room indoors, or into a garage or shed. Give your pet extra bedding to burrow into so he feels secure. If you cannot bring your pet's hutch inside, you should turn it around so that it faces a wall or fence instead of open space.
So remember and enjoy the 5th of November" … but please don't forget your pets.