Follow these ten top tips to help your pet cope with firework fears:
- Ensure your pet is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps
- Allow your dog or cat to hide in a bolthole where they feel safe. You can further increase this feeling of security by plugging in a Adaptil (DAP) or Feliway Diffuser
- Make sure your dog or cat is microchipped. If they do escape, frightened animals can easily get lost
- In the run up to the firework season, ensure dogs are used to being taken for walks early in the evening and cats are provided with litter trays
- Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your pet. A dog may pick up on your anxiety and this can make the problem worse. Cats prefer to be left to cope on their own
- Don’t get cross or punish your pet, regardless of his behaviour, as it will only make him more distressed
- Try not to leave your pet alone when fireworks are going off. Pets may hurt themselves or cause damage if they are not supervised
- Speak to your vet. Adaptil (DAP) spray can be used to give dogs additional support on the night of the event
- After the firework season contact your vet to ask about treatment for your dog’s fear of fireworks. Adaptil (DAP) and the Sounds Scary CD therapy pack have been scientifically proven to be an effective combination for treating firework phobias in dogs. Info from the website: www.soundtherapy4pets.com. Your vet may also wish to refer you to a qualified behavioural therapist
Avoiding cat firework stress
As a Healthy Pet Club member we want to help you keep your cat safe and calm during the fireworks season, that’s why we have put together plenty of advice on how to do this.
- Keep your cat safe indoors before it gets dark as loud fireworks can distress cats, causing them to bolt into busy roads.
- Close windows and curtains and put the TV/radio on to reduce firework noise.
- Comforting and reassuring your cat when it is anxious is natural, but this actually rewards their fearful behaviour, teaching them that it is the correct response and can make them feel worse next time. Instead it is best to act normal so that your cat sees there is nothing to be afraid of.
- Let your cat pace around and meow. If your cat hides don’t try to tempt it out as this may cause more stress. Instead it is an excellent idea to prepare a den for your cat where they can hide and feel safe.
- Block off cat flaps and ensure your cat is microchipped so that it can be returned to you if it escapes and becomes lost.
- You may want to try a capsule called Zylkene which is natural, palatable and very effective at calming cats and can be mixed with food as a treat. Also on the market are calming plug-in diffusers or sprays which are designed to naturally relax your cat, helping them to cope with stressful situations.
- Sedative medicines for very serious stress problems can only be prescribed by a vet after examination of your cat, so please make an appointment with your vet in good time.