The 5 November is fast approaching. For us, it’s an excuse to drink hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire and to watch lots of pretty and colourful firework displays. However, 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.
Ensure the last walk of the day for your dog 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 early and well before daylight goes.
Ensure your dogs and cats are microchipped as the noise and flashes from fireworks could cause them to run away and hide due to fear if you have not managed to secure them at home.
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 and keep the focus on you.
Always give them lots of cuddles and re-assurance but do not show any stress or anxiety yourself or they will pick up on it.
There are also a variety of anti-stress items and medications which are available but please speak to your registered Veterinary Surgery for their recommendation.
And remember that the 5 November 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.