As Bonfire Night fast approaches, pet owners may find themselves more stressed than excited by the prospect of the bangs and shrieks of fireworks all night long.
The charity PDSA says this bonfire season may be a particularly challenging one for new pet owners.
Top tips on how to help your pets include:
Bonfire Night can be very stressful for your pets
The earlier you can start your pre-fireworks prep, the better. Play firework noises quietly throughout the house and pair these with their favourite treat. If they show any signs of stress, stop the noises, and try again at a lower volume when they are not reacting. Continue to do this all year round, so your pet builds up positive associations with these sounds.
Secure your garden
Secure your home and garden in advance, as fearful furry friends may panic and scarper. Ensure any ‘escape routes’ – such as holes in fences – are inaccessible.
Set up a hideaway
Create a safe, quiet place for your pet
Create a ‘den’ in a quiet room or cupboard, which your pet can use as a safe space to hide in. It’s important that your pet already views this space as a safe place that they can escape to. Make it extra cosy with blankets and their favourite toys and treats, and add pillows or cushions to help absorb the loud noises – you can also do the same to hutches for smaller four-legged friends, who may also appreciate some extra bedding to hide away in.
Create calm vibes
Using pheromone products can help anxious pets, as the scents they release provide a calming effect to relax a stressed pooch or puss. You can even prepare a calming playlist, as music with a repetitive beat might help to disguise the loud bangs from fireworks and may keep your furry friend relaxed.
Speak to your vet
If you’re concerned your pet has a severe phobia of fireworks, it’s best to speak to an expert. Your vet can advise you on measures to improve the phobia, such as professional behaviour therapy or prescribe medications to help.