Tuesday, 11 December 2018
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How to keep your pets calm during the fireworks

It’s that time of year when we hear and see more fireworks than usual whether it’s Halloween or Bonfire Night.

But not everyone is overly keen on loud noises. It’s good to think about planning ahead to help make the celebrations less stressful for your pets.

More than a third (33 per cent) of dogs in the UK show signs of stress and anxiety such as cowering, trembling, and whining when they are around loud noises.

RSPCA Cymru has released a list of top tips about the best ways to avoid any firework frights for your furry friends.


Give them a safe place

Make sure your pet has somewhere to hide – such as under some furniture or in a cupboard – and they can get to it at any time.

Ensure your pet is kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape, especially if you are expecting lots of trick or treaters and will be frequently opening the front door.

Also make sure your pets are microchipped in case they do escape.

Make trick or treaters aware

Have you thought about putting up a sign on your front door? This will let trick or treaters know you have a nervous pet. Ask them to pass on without knocking or ringing the doorbell. You could leave some goodies in a bowl in the porch or on a window ledge if you still want to join in the festivities.

Help them feel less stressed

Walking dogs during daylight can help avoid trick or treaters and avoids them having to go outside if fireworks are also set off.

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, avoid leaving them alone if this is something that will affect them.

At night time, close the windows and curtains and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of any loud noises or voices outside.

Halloween fun

Chocolates and sweets can make pets ill if they’re eaten. Call a vet straight away if you’re concerned that they may have eaten some.

Don’t dress your pets in outfits or costumes as this can cause them stress and restricts them in showing their natural behaviour. Try to have fun together by playing with a new game or toy.


Expert advice

RSPCA animal behaviour expert Dr Samantha Gaines says: “Fear of loud noises, fireworks, and strange and unfamiliar people can be managed and we recommend seeking advice from your vet so that you can plan ahead and help your pet cope around Halloween. For example, your vet may recommend the use of diffusers which disperse calming chemicals into the room.

“In the longer term, if your dog is frightened of unfamiliar noises or fireworks, your vet may suggest referral to a clinical animal behaviourist to teach him/her to get used to the sounds.

“Small animals that live outside should have lots of extra bedding so they can burrow and some of their enclosure could be covered by a blanket for extra insulation and soundproofing.

“And if you are having a Halloween party and expecting lots of visitors, or using fireworks yourself, consider letting your neighbours know so they can make arrangements for their pets,” she added.

If you see an animal you have concerns about please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.

Source: https://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/17189841.how-to-keep-your-pets-calm-during-the-fireworks/

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