Pet Care Advice

Fireworks

Firework stress affects almost 50% of dogs and many cats too. Fireworks are no longer a 5th November event and are heard throughout autumn and are often used for many other celebrations such as Birthdays, Weddings and New Year.

 

Peace of Mind Pet Care

Firework stress affects almost 50% of dogs and many cats too. Fireworks are no longer a 5th November event and are heard throughout autumn and are often used for many other celebrations such as Birthdays, Weddings and New Year.

Many dogs will run around and vocalise, some become destructive and can even harm themselves. Sometimes the signs of stress can be more subtle such as hiding away and trembling. Cats especially will often become withdrawn and hide away which can unfortunately mean that their stress is not recognised.

It is important to deal with any stress associated with fireworks promptly and effectively as it often progresses to a fear of other sounds such as thunder and gunshots, and eventually even every day noises such as car doors slamming.

How to help cats with fear of fireworks

 

At least one week before the event

  • If possible keep your cat confined to the house for the week leading up to the event. Provide a litter tray.
  • Make sure the cat has some form of identification, ideally a microchip to trace it if it does escape and become lost.
  • One week before the event plug in a Feliway diffuser in the room that your cat uses to rest.
  • Make sure there are plenty of bolt holes and places to hide.

On the day of the event

  • Check that the cat is in the house and that all escape routes are blocked.
  • Create a darkened room and put on the radio or TV to drown out the firework noise.
  • Leave the cat wherever it chooses to hide until it feels safe enough to come out.
  • Do not punish or fuss your cat during the event.
  • Stay calm and act normally.

After the event

  • Leave the Feliway diffuser plugged in for at least one week after the event.

Feliway contains a synthetic analogue of the facial feline pheromone which cats deposit onto objects In their environment when they feel safe and secure.

How to help dogs with a fear of fireworks

 

At least one week before the event

  • Prepare a refuge area for your dog to go to during the fireworks.
  • Encourage your dog to use it by hiding treats and toys there.
  • Plug in a D.A.P Diffuser in the room that your dog uses to rest, leave it switched on at all times.

On the day of the event

  • Ensure that your dog has some form of identification, ideally a microchip incase it escapes and becomes lost.
  • Before dark draw the curtains in the room where the dog will retreat to, ensure that there are some toys to play with.
  • Make sure you have something to do in the room so that you can stay with your dog.
  • Put on some music, ideally something with a constant drum beat, it does not need to be loud.
  • Ignore the firework noises, act normally and encourage your dog to engage in an activity.
  • Ignore any fear full behaviour. Don’t fuss or reassure your dog when it is scared as this only rewards the behaviour.
  • Don’t punish your dog this only confirms that there is something to be afraid of.
  • Keep your dog inside and safe.
  • Never take your dog to a firework display even if he/she shows no fearful behaviour to fireworks.

After the event

  • Leave the D.A.P diffuser plugged in for one week.
  • If similar events are likely to happen over a number of nights maintain a D.A.P diffuser for the whole period.
  • Consult your veterinary surgeon or a qualified behaviourist to discuss further treatment.

D.A.P. contains a synthetic analogue of canine appeasing pheromone which is naturally produced by the bitch to comfort her puppies and help them cope with new stimuli. D.A.P. is not a sedative drug and the dog can still move around and express reactions to stimuli.

D.A.P and Feliway products are 10% off at Banstead Village Vets this month!

Please contact the surgery on 01737 210011 for further details.

Don’t forget other pets too

If you have a Rabbit, Guinea Pig or any other pets that live outside ideally take the hutch indoors. If this is not possible.

  • Put the hutch into a shed or well ventilated garage.
  • Provide plenty of bedding for your pet to hide in, plus boxes and tunnels as hiding places.
  • Turn hutches to face a fence or wall or cover with a blanket to block out flashes.