The 5 November is fast approaching. An enjoyable time for most of us but, for the majority of our furry companions, this time of year is very frightening and stressful for them. There are plenty of precautions you can take to try to reduce the stress and anxiety that they feel.
For your dogs, ensure their last walk of the day is in daylight to avoid the chance of seeing or hearing any fireworks while you are out.
For your cats, if they are wanderers, get them home and safe early and well before daylight goes. Or, keep them in for a few days. Always better to be safe than sorry.
By law your dogs have to be microchipped but ensure your cats are also. The noise and flashes from fireworks could cause them to run away and hide.
If your pet has a favourite and secure place in the house, ensure they have complete access to it, no closed doors. If your dog uses a crate as his/her den, cover it with blankets and towels to try to insulate the noise. For any pets in cages or hutches again, cover them and add more straw bedding to insulate but ensure there is a gap in any covers for them to look out. Consider bringing outdoor pets indoors. If you can’t, keep checking on them.
Feed your pets their dinner before the fireworks start as stress levels may deter them from eating. Once you are locked in for the night ensure all your windows and curtains are closed and turn the TV or the radio up a little higher than normal to try to minimise the sounds from outside.
Ensure you have something they love to hand e.g. a favourite toy, a ball or some tasty treats so that if they are still able to hear any fireworks you may be able to distract them to keep and focus on you.
Your dog may show signs of stress or that they are anxious by panting excessively, drooling, shaking, yawning and putting their tail between their legs. Your dog may pace until he/she has found a safe place. Once they have you should leave them, offering cuddles only if they want them. Some of your clothes with your scent could be added to their safe place once they are settled. Give praise once they are calm.
There are also a variety of anti-stress items and medications such as Feliway and Adaptil which are available, but please speak to your registered Veterinary Surgery for their recommendation.
And remember that the 5 November often starts at the end of October and generally goes through until after the 5 November so be prepared to take these precautions whenever you need to during that period.
And then I’m afraid, it’s repeat for New Year’s Eve.