Many animals struggle to cope with fireworks; lots of humans have a hard time with them too. The RSPCA estimates that 45% of dogs show signs of being afraid of fireworks when they hear them. Firework phobia is a real thing but it’s also something that pet owners can help their pets cope with a lot more successfully. Extreme fears need professional treatment. If you know your pet suffers badly with firework phobia your vet may be able to refer you to an animal behaviourist. However, there are a few things you can do to help your pets cope with firework season.
7 Tips to Keep Cats and Dogs Calm and Safe
1.Expose your pet to scary sounds in a safe environment. Visit the Dogs Trust website and download their free sound based treatment program. Click the link and follow the instructions. The programmes include fireworks, thunder, traffic and domestic noises.
2.Make sure there are plenty of safe hiding spots around the room for your pets to retreat to. You could bring in some cardboard boxes, open cupboards or use a dog crate. Cover them with blankets and make them really cosy inside.
3.Walk your dog during the day and avoid going out once the sun sets. Get the cats inside around dusk too and keep them in for the night.
4.Close your curtains and have the television on slightly louder than normal, or play music. This can help to muffle the loud sounds and flashing lights from outside.
5.Pay attention to your pets. Keep them close to you if you think they gain comfort from your company, or give them space.
6.Make sure your pets are microchipped and the data is up to date in case they escape and runaway.
7.You can get pheromone diffusers for cats and for dogs. Speak to your vet about using these. Your vet may also be able to prescribe medication for fearful pets.
Smaller pets such as rabbits and birds may also experience fear. Help them cope by covering their hutches and aviaries with blankets – allowing for ventilation.