Vets recommend you begin helping your pet now!
Wicstun vet, Emily, offers advice to owners of noise phobic or anxious pets;
Firework season can be a distressing time for our pets, so here are a few tips of simple things that can be implemented to try and minimize the effects as much as possible! Planning ahead will ensure firework season right through to the festive season, is as stress free as possible.
Before bonfire night:
– Do a bit of research to find out if there are any local firework displays, will they be audible from your own house? Don’t forget to check if the neighbours are planning a firework display from the back garden!
– Make sure your pets identification is up to date – especially cats!!
– Make a safe place indoors at least two weeks in advance – create a ‘den’ which your pet can use to hide in on bonfire night. On the run up to bonfire night start feeding/playing with and even rewarding your pet in the den to make it a positive experience. The use of blankets in and around the den can be comforting as they offer familiar smells, can help muffle loud noises and can reduce the flashes of light
– If your cat prefers to toilet outdoor, ensure they have access to at least two indoor litter trays
On bonfire night:
– Make sure pets are locked indoors (don’t let cats out in the morning if they are prone to returning late at night)
– Take dogs for a long walk before dusk
– Close all doors/windows/curtains and blinds
– Have two sources of noises on at all times to prevent a moment of silence in which fireworks can be heard
– Act normal to reassure your pet there is nothing to worry about
– Reward calm behaviour
– Give them affection, but try to ignore unusual behaviour (such as shaking or whining)
– Try to avoid leaving them alone – your presence will aid their relaxation!
– DO NOT get angry with them, they don’t understand what is happening!
– Where possible bring pets housed outdoors inside for the night.
If your pet has a history of stressing on bonfire night, please do not hesitate to contact us to speak to a vet or veterinary nurse. Please keep in mind that if you think your pet would benefit from behavioural supplements, they often need to be started a few days, if not weeks prior to an aversive experience! For very severe cases, some medications can be prescribed by your vet, but you would need to book a consult to speak to your vet first.