It's that time of year again, where your pets may show signs of anxiety when they hear the loud bang and see flashes of fireworks.
For new pet owners, seeing their beloved cat, dog or small furry in distress can be a worrying time. Here are some tips to help you and your pet through this time:
FOR DOGS ONLY
AHEAD OF THE fire works season:
Planning ahead can help dogs cope with the fireworks season.
Talk to your vet about pheromone diffusers. These disperse calming chemicals into the room and may be a good option for your dog – in some cases your vet may even prescribe medication. Either of these options must be used in conjunction with behavioural therapy. We would recommend asking your vet to refer you to a clinical animal behaviourist or using the Sounds Scary therapy pack (see over).
Before the fireworks season starts, provide your dog with a doggy safe haven. This should be a quiet area so choose one of the quietest rooms in your home – it should be a place where they feel in control, so don’t interfere with your dog when they’re in that area. Train your dog to associate the area with positive experiences e.g. by leaving their favourite toys there but not imposing yourself at any time. Also, use a variety of chew toys, e.g. stuffed Kongs and chews and swap them regularly, putting them away when not in use so that your dog doesn’t become bored with them.
With time dogs can learn that this place is safe and enjoyable. So when fireworks go off they may choose to go there because they know, in that place, no harm will come to them and so they are more able to cope. It is important that your dog has access to this doggy safe haven at all times – even when you’re not at home.
When the fireworks start:
It is important you do not take them to the display itself!!
Make sure your dog has been walked and exercised well before the display begins.
Feed him his dinner before the fireworks start.
Close any windows and black out the ‘doggy play area’ to remove any extra problems caused by the flashing lights.
Each evening before the fireworks begin, move your dog to the play area and provide toys and other things that they enjoy. Make sure that there are things for you to do too so that your dog isn’t left alone.
Ignore the firework noises yourself. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don’t force them to play.
Do not fuss over your pet.
Make sure your cat has somewhere to hide if they want to. For example this may be under some furniture or in a quiet corner.
Don’t try and tempt your cat out as this will cause them to become more stressed.
Otherwise follow the same advise as above in terms of blacking out the room, closing all the windows etc.
FOR SMALL ANIMALS
If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure that your pets are still able to look out.
Provide lots of extra bedding so your pets have something to burrow in.
It is also a good idea to partially cover their cages.
Consider bringing them indoors. This should be done gradually, so you will need to plan ahead.
We, here at Pebzz.com, hope you found these tips helpful so you & your pet can enjoy the festive time.