As the winter approaches the sound of sparklers, whizzes, bangs, whistles, and flashes of coloured lights burst through the crisp nights, it can be an alarming and unpredictable time for your pets to navigate. These loud unexpected noises can trigger the fight or flight response and generate a great deal of stress and anxiety in cats, dogs, and other smaller animals.
As this happens every year, how can we prepare and comfort our pets to ensure they feel safe and looked after? There are several things’ owners can do before November to limit the impact of fireworks and here are our suggestions!
Signs Of Stress
- Yawning frequently
Desensitize your pets to sounds
Did you know that dogs can hear from up to one mile away?
Therefore it's a really good idea to expose your furry friends to the sound of fireworks ideally in the months or weeks before bonfire night to build up tolerance. You can do this by playing recordings of firework sounds or displays at a low volume to start with whilst distracting your pet by playing and awarding them treats. Each session slightly raise the volume so that over the coming weeks you can increase their tolerance.
Dampening down the noise outside can also help to relieve anxiety. Close windows, doors, and curtains and try turning up the TV or radio. Classic FM and Spotify have playlists dedicated to pets on fireworks night.
Up To Date Details
Unfortunately, the highest amount of missing pet reports is during the months of October and November so it is important to make sure your cat or dog's microchip details and contact information are all up to date should they unwittingly escape in a blind panic.
Last Walk Of The Day
During November, try walking your dog before it gets dark and take them to the toilet before the evenings draw in. A longer walk than usual can tire them out and they’ll be less likely to react to sounds in the evening. It’s also a good idea to keep them inside in the evenings too.
A Cosy Den
You can help your pet escape to a safe sanctuary by creating a space away from everything and filling it with blankets and cushions for them to burrow into and hide.
Dogs like to chew or lick to soothe themselves so a flavoursome chew toy may help to distract and soothe your pup as the evening progresses.
When dogs are under stress, they can become extremely thirsty, so ensure their water bowl is topped up and they can have extra toilet breaks too.
If you feel your cat or dog is particularly sensitive to sound generally and are concerned these measures may not be enough, you can contact your vet to arrange anxiety medication.