Fireworks are fun, but not for your pet
From a recent PDSA study 61% of UK owners reported that their pets are scared of fireworks. Have you thought about how much distress your pet may suffer?
Whilst this figure is an improvement of 12% since 2010 and is a credit to the work and intervention of vets, behaviourists and owners, it’s still nearly two thirds of all our pets that are scared at these times.
As the improvements show, there are things that we can do to help keep them calmer and safer. It’s up to us and you as pet owners to help them cope and make sure their fireworks nights are as easy as they can be.
Generally, most pet struggle. Animals have acute senses: for them every flash and bang can be unexpected and alarming. Think about how your pet reacts to fireworks, or if you haven’t had them when there have been fireworks going on, how they respond to loud noises. Do they show any of the following behaviours?
If they show any of these signs, your pet might need help coping.
Ideally, it’s best to prepare some time in advance. Speak to one of our vets at least 6-12 weeks in advance. Long term behavioural therapy really needs to be looked at some months in advance. However, we can start to help you with some short term help, and then look at long term management in the future.
Talk to one of our vets or nurses – it’s a good idea to discuss this to see what additional therapies can be instigated to help ease the stress – there are many to choose from.
There are many things you can do at home which our nurses and vets can give you full advice on, these include –
Building a den – it is important that your pet has their own safe place with which they have positive associations. This gives them somewhere to hide when they are uneasy or worried. A den is useful all year around, but especially good for the firework season. Our nurses can help you design something to suit you.
For dogs it is important to address smells, treats, toys and sound prevention – many tips are available at our nurse consults.
For cats – think 3D – cats feel more comfortable up high – we may need to help you with how and where to positon their den. Have you more than one cat? It is important to remember every single cat needs two dedicated hiding places.
Update their identification – Is your pet microchipped? Prior to firework season make sure they are microchipped and the details are up to date so if they do run away scared we can help reunite them with you when they are found. At Hollygate, we can help you update your records or even check what information is linked to your pet’s microchip. Contact us as soon as possible to organise getting your pet microchipped as this can take a couple of weeks to get the chip registered.
Walk your dog in the light if possible. This reduces the possibility of them being exposed to any fireworks and making them uneasy. This can be tough in autumn and winter with the shorter days so may take some planning accordingly.
There are many options available from plug in diffusers to sprays and medication. All of which we see great results from and your pet may be much happier with some help. We don’t recommend sedating you pet as this can be counterproductive, whereby they don’t have the ability to display their distress, and actually makes them more stressed or worse on the next occasion. There are however, medications available that are more focussed on providing relaxation rather than sedation, and much kinder on your pet. Some medications however, do have to be started a few days beforehand to get maximum benefit and you should think about this in the weeks before the event.
For more information why not watch this video below –
We use 3 different types of cookies on our website. You can say which ones you're happy for us to use below.
These cookies do things like keep the website secure. They always need to be on.