Fireworks associated with Bonfire Night seem to go on longer and longer every year, starting before Halloween and lasting well into November. Very soon we’ll be hearing those familiar bangs in the distance and unfortunately so will our pets.
This is a notoriously stressful time for cats and dogs but early preparation can ease anxiety and help pets stay and feel safe. Angela Critchley, International Marketing Director for PetSafe® Brand, has some top tips to help pet owners this winter:
- Do the ground work – if you know your pet is sensitive to fireworks, or this is the first year with a new pet, try testing loud noises at home and gauge their reaction. There are special CDs you can buy but action films tend to work just as well! If they are sensitive to noise, take the below precautions.
- Get chipped – making sure your pet is microchipped well ahead of the fireworks season is essential as stressed pets have a tendency to behave irrationally and could try to escape, subsequently becoming lost or disorientated. It’s also a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped now in the UK.
- Lock up – as well as microchipping, help to make sure your dog or cat is safe and secure at home by locking doors and windows, and don’t forget the cat flap! The Staywell® 4 Way Locking Cat Flap range by PetSafe® Brand is ideal for keeping cats secure.
- Safety in numbers – try to avoid leaving your pet alone during the peak firework season as they are likely to become more anxious without you there for support. If it’s unavoidable consider leaving a TV or radio on to drown out some of the noise and don’t be too upset if you come back to signs of uncharacteristically destructive behaviour. For ideas on how to distract your pet away from chewing the furniture or shoes, see below.
- Keep water on tap – pets often become very thirsty when anxious as they’re panting more so it’s vital to keep fresh water topped up regularly; the Drinkwell® Pet Fountain range by PetSafe® Brand is a great way to ensure your pet has clean, fresh water for hours.
- Time your walks – with more water on board, pets will need to go out for regular toilet breaks but try and head out before it gets dark and the fireworks begin in earnest, just remember to get up extra early the next morning to go out. A good long walk earlier in the day will also help to tire out your pet and make them more likely to sleep through the noise.
- Distraction is key – if your pet is still wide awake then treat dispensing toys such as our Busy Buddy® and FunKitty™ ranges are an ideal way to distract them from all the chaos outside. Plus, chewing is known to release endorphins which will help your pet to relax.
Finally, don’t forget that one of the best things you can do for your pet is make them feel secure and relaxed, so plenty of extra cuddles and praise will always be welcomed be your furry friend!