With the winter months fast approaching many of us let owners turn our thoughts to getting through the fireworks season unscathed.
There are some important points to follow if you own pets during this season as fireworks can induce such strong fear reactions in our furry friends whose senses are so much better than us mere humans.
A great suggestion is to research local displays and ask your neighbours if they are planning any home displays and keep a list of any evenings that are more likely to be problematic.
Make sure your small animals are tucked up and super cosey in either an inside hutch or in a garage or similar. Background noise to minimise echoes of any nearby banging is also a great idea
It’s best to keep cats in over the fireworks season to ensure they don’t get spooked by any nearby fireworks if caught unawares. This can often cause them to bolt into areas they wouldn’t usually enter through fear which may include getting into areas they can’t get out from, crossing dangerous roads with the potential of being in a rta or entering territories of other cats that may be aggressive towards them. Make sure they have two or more litter trays and drinking stations and these are kept at a good distance from each other and feeding stations so as to allow them to exercise their natural behaviours during this time.
If you own an already sound phobic dog it’s ready to baton down the hatches for a few weeks and prepare your stuffed Kongs. Having said that the following can apply for all dogs as sound phobias often develop later in life.
Keep walks to before dark and ensure your dog has plenty of exercise.
Ensure toilet breaks in the evening are fully vetted before garden access is allowed to minimise as far as possible the risk of being caught out by a stray bang.
Curtains and blinds closed in all rooms the dog has access to.
Loud background noise in all rooms the dog has access to - television or radio.
Restrict access to areas where toileting may be an issue as a scared dog will often urinate and defecate as panic sets in.
Provide lots of safe covered den areas in places that encourage your dog to be away from external windows, doors and walls. Encourage them to spend time here in the run up to fireworks by feeding them here and giving treats, toys and attention to them here. You can cover crates with duvets or create little dens with bedding. This should be their private safe space.
Prep lots of fun and high value food puzzle games to be given throughout each evening to keep them busy and eating. Chews, food dispensers, kongs, bones etc. Give them to your dog before any firework noise. The act of chewing and licking will assist in keeping them calm.
If your dog likes it and they are reacting to noises they have heard you can provide comfort to them and all the while encourage calm behaviours by rewarding them with more attention and food if they’ll take it.
There are some handy first aid tips for you to get through the season that approaches us but if your dog has a sound phobia get in contact with us and we can help you to help your pet overcome this. Give us a call on 07702017873 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org