Guy Fawkes will be upon us in another month, heralding the start of the fireworks season that seems to go on for a very long time. While some animals don’t really seem bothered by all the fuss, there are some that can get quite stressed by the noise and excitement.
Here are some tips to keep your furry friends happy during this time.
- Never let off fireworks near animals.
- Keep pets indoors with the windows shut and curtains closed. Have music or the TV on to help drown out the bags with more familiar noises.
- Provide somewhere to hide to make the animal feel more secure. If your dog is crate trained, putting them in the crate with a blanket over the top to cover the crate often makes them feel more secure. Even a cardboard box with a bed in it and a towel over the entrance is a great hiding place for a cat.
- Take your evening walk early to avoid having your dog out when fireworks are being set off and get cats inside before dark.
- Try to behave in a calm and reassuring manner. Cuddling and petting too much can provide positive reinforcement for anxious behaviour.
- Never punish your pet for anxious behaviour as this will just make them more fearful and stressed.
- Try a Thundershirt compressive wrap for dogs.
- Make sure your animal is microchipped. This means if they do get scared and run away, they can be easily identifiable.
- For animals who get quite stressed with fireworks there are some natural antianxiety options:
- Calmex capsules for dogs or liquid for cats
- Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats - calming pheromones
- Royal Canin Calm diet for cats & dogs (Note - this needs to be started 4 weeks prior).
If you have concerns about the level of stress your animal is showing during fireworks, then come discuss options for therapy or stronger medication with your friendly Franklin Vets team.
Dr Nikki Frost, BSc, BVSc MANZCVS (Medicine of Cats) Senior Veterinarian at Franklin Vets Pukekohe