It’s whizz bang pop time again!
The firework season is upon us, a time for loud bangs and screeches. As we happily ‘oooo’ and ‘aahh’ at the starbursts in the sky and jump at the explosive sounds, sadly for some pets and their owners, it is a particularly distressing time.
If your dog or cat is affected by fireworks, now is the time to begin preparations to help make your pet feel more relaxed, comfortable and secure. Here are our top tips for the firework season:
- In advance, create a safe haven for your pet in a room with few windows. Cover all sides of the haven except one. Ensure they can easily get in and out. Place inside a blanket, favourite toys, food, water and treats. Even an item of your clothing is good, so they sense your scent. Encourage your pet to often visit this safe haven, so as to become familiar with the surroundings before the noises start.
- This is a hard one – once fireworks start, do not comfort your pet as it only reinforces the worry.
- Never punish or scold a fearful pet. Be happy and provide distractions. Play a gentle game and music to mask the noises outside and offer treats as the aim is to encourage confidence.
- Use pheromone plug-in diffusers, sprays or collars. Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats are available, and emit a comforting and reassuring scent, which is similar to the calming pheromones produced by a nursing bitch to her puppies.
- There is also music based on the theory of gradually desensitising your pet to loud noises.
- Keep pets indoors as it protects cats from fireworks, and exercising your dog during fireworks could cause a distressed dog to run off, especially if off the lead.
- Ensure your pet is microchipped as identifiable lost pets are much easier to reunite with owners.
Two By Two Veterinary Centre in Finchley can offer plenty of help for nervous pets and advice for their owners, so please do not hesitate to contact us.