For many pet owners this season means fireworks, bonfires and stressed out pets but there are various things that can be done to help sound-sensitive pets.
Dogs and cats who fear fireworks can become destructive, pace around, excessively pant and try to hide or even run away. Keep animals indoors and walk dogs before it gets dark to avoid being out when fireworks are more likely to go off.
Carol Avenell, a Registered Veterinary Nurse at Watkins and Tasker Vets has some advice for owners to start practicing now so it becomes normal for the pet. “Making your pet feel safe is the first step to helping them cope with noisy fireworks. Creating a dark den allows the animal to control its fear and including lots of padded bedding makes it comfortable and can acts as a sound barrier.”
For both cats and dogs, putting on the television or music with a heavy beat can help, and make sure there is plenty of fresh water close by as they can drink more when stressed. Offering your pets reassurance but without making it over the top can help to calm them. Try not to punish unwanted behaviour as this can make things worse – instead provide food games or toys as a distraction.
Carol also advises “There are various synthetic pheromone products or medications which can really help pets in stressful situations and owners should discuss this with their vets for advice relevant to their own pet. Our advice is not leave it too late and sort as soon as possible.”
It is not just dogs and cats who can be impacted by fireworks, think about moving hutch pets, check bonfires for hedgehogs or other wildlife before lighting and never set off fireworks near livestock or horses.
More information is available from Watkins and Tasker Vets – www.watkins-tasker-vets.co.uk or from the Practices in Yatton, Nailsea and Portishead.