Halloween-wrong copy

Fireworks can be fun for you but not for your pet. Animals’ senses – especially their hearing – are much more acute than ours making them even more sensitive to loud bangs and whistles, the smell of gunpowder and the sight of objects streaking across the sky. By following the simple guidelines below you can help minimise any distress to your pet.

Always:

Always keep dogs and cats indoors when fireworks are being let off.

Always close all windows and doors and block off cat flaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the curtains, darken the room. If your pet is used to the sound of the television or radio switch it on to block out some of the noise.

Always make sure your pet is wearing some form of identification even in the house. Have at least a collar with a name tag but also consider having your pet microchipped, so that if he does run away there is a better chance of he will be returned to you.

Always reward you pet if he is calm.

Never:

Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if he does not bark or whimper it does not mean that he is happy.

Never tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, i.e. outside a shop whilst you are in shopping or leave him in your garden or car.

Never walk your dog while fireworks are being let off. Be sure to walk him earlier in the day.

Never shout at your pet if he is frightened – it will only make him more stressed.

Never reward fear it will just encourage this behaviour.

Things you can do to help:

Prepare a den for your pet so he can feel comfortable, e.g. perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes where he can hide when the fireworks start.

If you pet whines or meows and tries to hide – leave him alone and do not try to coax him out. He is just trying to find safety and should not be disturbed.

Try to be in the house when the fireworks are going off. If you do have to go out and when you return you find he has been destructive, do not shout at him or get angry. Stay calm and act normally – praise your pet when he is calm.

Can I give sedatives to my pet?
Where possible avoid using sedatives. They are not always effective and may not be suitable for some older animals or animals with other pre-existing conditions. Sedatives can only be prescribed by your veterinary surgeon who is likely to want to examine your pet before prescribing them. This is to ensure that there are no underlying conditions such as heart disease that would make it unwise to give your pet sedatives.
There are however other alternatives. Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) is a synthetic version of a chemical produced by a bitch shortly after she has given birth. The pheromone reassures newborn puppies and calms them down naturally. Scientists have now discovered that it also help calm older dogs. It comes as a simple plug in diffuser that disperses the chemical into the room.
N.B. These treatments work best if treatment starts a few weeks before the fireworks begin.