Read our advice to pet owners on how to minimise the harmful effects that fireworks can have on animals.
The British public’s love of fireworks means bangs, whooshes and crackles seem to start earlier and finish later each year. Forty per cent of owners now claim that their pet is scared of fireworks, according to pet charity PDSA.
Ensuring cats and dogs are microchipped, just in case they escape, is crucial, according to Medivet’s veterinary expert Dr Gareth Richardson, Head of Clinical Standards. With a microchip, owners have the best chance of being reunited with their pet. There are further steps to take, says Dr Richardson, for animals living both outside and inside:
- Create a safe space for your pet – but don’t confine them as this can stress them even more
- Provide plenty of hiding places
- Walk your animals early – gradually change the routine a week before fireworks begin
- Consider bringing hutches and runs indoors – whether in the house, garage or shed, this will help create a solid noise barrier
- Close windows, curtains and blinds – both muffling noise and stopping them fleeing
- Provide extra bedding – rabbits and some other exotics burrow when scared
- Stay at home – your presence alone will help soothe your pet
- Turn up the radio/TV – this provides a mask to the noise and a familiar sound to reassure them
- Give them a treat – whether stimulating toys or a tasty treat, reward their bravery
- Invest in a pheromone adaptor – place a few throughout the home to help calm your pet’s nerves (ask your vet for the best option for your pet)
Dr Richardson added: “For us fireworks inspire joy and wonder, but for pets it’s often the opposite. Realise the specific needs of your pet and do what’s best for them, but if you are in any doubt please do come in to one of our practices and have a quick chat – especially if you own a particularly stressed pet.”