Are you prepared for fireworks night and the fast-approaching festive season?
Many pets, dogs and cats alike, struggle at this time of year with noise sensitivities and subsequently owners can find these annual events quite stressful too.
With the massive influx of new pets that we’ve seen over the last 18 months and last year’s events cancelled as we went back into lockdown, this year will be the first fireworks experience for many of these new puppy’s and pets.
But there is good news, if you can anticipate the event then there are strategies that us pet owners can use to make it go without a bang! Sadly, there are always occasions that we can’t predict, so having a few techniques up your sleeve to alleviate any stresses for your cat or dog during this period is only going to be helpful. We can help our dogs to get used to this annual event, with some effort and consistency.
Firstly, we must remember that our canine and feline companions have incredibly good senses, this includes sound, sight and smell. Fireworks will engage all these senses, as they do for us. We however have the capacity to understand that these events are generally short-lived and not harmful to us. Our pets do not. Be gentle and reassuring, don’t leave your dog at home alone.
Does your dog react to fireworks every year? The unpredictability of fireworks means that unless work is done with your pet prior to the event, they won’t be able to employ a useful coping strategy. You can work on desensitising your dog throughout the year, incorporate it into their puppy training, not just in a concentrated effort just before the event. We recommend you speak to your local dog behaviourist to develop a tailored dog training program for this.
VisioCare’s tips for keeping dog’s calm and comforted during the fireworks:
- The first tip is that you do continued and on-going sound sensitivity work with your dog.
- Then there are strategies you can implement on the night. Use social media and local press to keep track of events in your area. On the night, keep your windows and curtains closed, turn the volume up on your TV or radio to reduce the impact of the bangs and leave the lights on.
- Provide a safe place or nest for your pet, with blankets and toys and treats. A crate-trained dog may find the confines of a well-prepared hiding place very reassuring and help to reduce anxiety.
- Use fireworks nights as an opportunity for play time with your dog, make a fun game that involves their favourite treats and will distract them from what is happening outside. This will help to create a more positive association for them, and it will also build bonds and trust.
- Finally, utilise the beneficial effects of some highly reputed, tried and tested calming products. For example, Adaptil for dogs, Feliway for cats and Pet Remedy, a natural remedy that is suitable for many species including horses and rabbits too.
Remember that small animals will either need to be brought indoors and provide them with lots of extra bedding.
Through our pets app, myBuddy we always provide the best guidance we can to help you with issues that affect your pets, whether cats, dogs, rats, rabbits or reptiles. However, we would always recommend you call your vet or get in touch via the myBuddy app.