How to keep your cat & dog calm during fireworks

Safe-&-Sound

 

Fireworks, whether on Bonfire Night, at a party, or on New Year’s Eve are fun for us, but not always as much fun for our pets and can cause them to feel anxiety and fear. Recent 2019 stat’s from the PDSA PAW Report show that 23% of UK dog owners want to reduce stress related behaviour caused by fireworks.

If ignored, firework fears can progress to a more serious noise phobia, whereby even the slightest noise causes panic and excessive reactions. So how do you keep your cat & dog calm during fireworks season?  Here are some of our top tips to help reduce anxiety and reassure your pet.

Plan

There are things you can do in the lead up to Fireworks night to help reduce the risk of anxiety.

Diary check- Know the times of your local displays so you can plan ahead and ensure your pet is safely in doors. Also be aware of firework displays at home, and special events such as Halloween.

 

Buy a calming product- There’s a range of products that can really help reduce the amount of stress your pet may feel. Supplements like Zylkene and YuCALM contain natural ingredients which promote relaxation and encourages calmer behaviour. Ideally supplements need to be used up to 10 days before the event to ensure maximum efficiency.Calm

Diffusers such as Adaptil and Feliway Optimum are great for constant support in the home, they release pheromones which give dogs and cats a sense of security in stressful situations. It’s recommended that the diffusers are plugged- in two weeks prior to the event, once in, they can last up to 4 weeks.

Anxiety shirts for dogs, like ThunderShirt can be used with Adaptil diffusers for a more effective solution. The shirt is ideal for fear of fireworks, thunderstorms cars or travel. The Thundershirt is easy to put on and ensures a consistent pressure on the core of the dog. This pressure has a calming effect for most dogs.

Prepare

In the week building up to Fireworks night, it’s a good idea to walk your dog when it’s still daylight to help reduce the chances of them encountering any early/random fireworks while out of the house.

Check your pets ID information. If your pet is scared there’s an increased chance they will run away. Make sure their name and address are up to date so you can find them quickly.

Building a den gives your pet a safe place they can hide in. It’s very important the den is set up a few weeks before Bonfire Night as a brand new den on November 5th won’t be familiar.

There are a few important things to consider when building your pet’s den:

Location – put the den in your pet’s favourite room where they’d usually spend the evening and feel comfortable.
Free Access – allow your pet to access the den at all times. This way it’s their choice to spend time there and they’ll grow to like it more and more

NEVER force them to go into the den as punishment, this makes their safe place negative.
Size – The den has to be a suitable size for your pet. They have to be able to comfortably stand up, lie down, move around and stretch out.

Dens for dogs

Smells – fill the den with familiar smells – used blankets, towels or old clothes are good choices.
Treats and Toys – their den has to be a positive place for them to sit and relax, you can reinforce this with some treats and toys.
Sound – putting a blanket over their den can help muffle any frightening lights and sounds and makes it feel like an enclosed and safe space. Alternatively if your dog is used to the sounds of a TV or radio, switch them on in order to mask the loud bangs of the fireworks.

Dens for cats

Go higher – cats feel more comfortable somewhere high up. We know it isn’t always possible to make them a den somewhere high up, but they will appreciate it if you can.
The more the better – Make sure you have a separate hiding place for each cat, and then one extra. This gives them a choice and can help make them feel comfortable.

 

Protect

Avoid leaving your pet alone during the fireworks event, act normally and give them lots of praise for calm behaviour. If they allow you, give them a cuddle or a stroke to help them relax.

Close all windows and doors and check all available exits are secure to avoid your pet from running away if they become scared.

Play music or put the TV on louder to mask the noise.

 

We hope this helps you with your pre-fireworks preparation, visit animeddirect.co.uk to view all of our calming products.

Calming products