Tips to Help Your Pet Through Fireworks and Storm Season

If you already know that your pet becomes stressed around fireworks, please talk to us. There are medications that can be prescribed, but they don’t have an immediate effect. Talk to us as far in advance of New Years Eve  as you can.

There are many simple things that you can do to ease your pet’s stress. Here are some useful tips to try and make them more comfortable.

1. Buy a pheromone diffuser

Pheromone sprays and diffusers can help ease pet stress and anxiety, try placing a couple around the house – these can be a good way to keep nervous pets calm. You’ll need to do this at least a couple of weeks ahead of NYE for it to take effect.

2. Walk dogs early

If you usually go for a late-night walk, try to change the routine and head out early to avoid being outside when the fireworks start. Even if they don’t normally show fear around fireworks, dogs can be easily startled by loud, unexpected bangs while outside.  Gradually alter your normal walking routine about a week before fireworks occasions to get your dog used to the change. Be sure to keep him on a lead at all times during fireworks season; startled dogs can often run off without warning.

3. Keep cats in

If your cat is an outdoor cat that likes to wander, it’s worth trying to keep him in when he comes home earlier in the day. Otherwise, there’s a chance hewill still be out when the fireworks start.

4. Create a safe space for your pet

Creating a safe space in your house gives your pet somewhere calm and familiar to retreat to when he gets scared. Fill a room or corner with food and water bowls, his favourite toys, and bedding to create a pet-friendly haven.  Don’t confine him to this area though, as this can make him feel even more stressed. You should just let him go wherever they feel safest.

5. Provide plenty of hiding spaces

Most homes are full of great hiding spots for pets; under the bed or behind the couch, for example. Make sure you provide plenty of places petscan safely hide away from the noise. This is particularly important for cats.  If they do decide to take refuge throughout the ho

6. Close windows, curtains, and blinds

Keeping your windows closed can help muffle loud noises and prevents your pet from escaping if they decide to flee. You may also want to close any curtains or blinds to further soundproof your home and shut out bright flashes and sparks that can scare pets. Don’t forget to lock the cat flap to prevent your cat from getting outside.

7. Turn up the radio or TV

Turning on the radio or TV not only helps mask the loud bangs and crackles of fireworks, but also provides a familiar noise to help distract your pet. Play calming music or turn on a programme you watch regularly to help reassure your pet that everything’s alright.

8. Bring rabbit hutch indoors

Due to their sensitive nature, outdoor rabbits suffer the most when it comes to fireworks. An option is to bring their hutch inside during fireworks season, this could be in the house, garage, or shed. This provides a solid barrier from the noise outside and helps reduce their stress levels. Not only that, but it also protects them from any falling sparks or firework shrapnel.

If you’re unable to bring them inside, lay a few thick blankets over their hutch to help muffle the bangs and keep them calm. Don’t forget to leave a suitable gap for ventilation.

9. Give rabbits extra bedding

Rabbits tend to burrow when they get scared, so popping some extra bedding into their hutch gives them plenty to hide in and helps them feel protected against the noise.You may also want to give them some extra hideaways, such as a ventilated cardboard box filled with hay, to ensure they have lots of opportunities to take refuge from the noise.

10. Stay at home

If at all possible,  try to ensure that somebody is at home, this will help soothe your pet’s fears. Left to their own devices, your pet could become very stressed and destructive in your absence.  Remember to keep talking to your pet and give them plenty of love and attention during the fireworks. Knowing you’re there to protect them will reassure them and keep them calm.

11. Give them a treat

A tasty treat can make a world of difference to your pet’s stress levels and it’ll also reward their good behaviour and bravery. A stuffed chew toy can keep dogs occupied for hours, while a treat puzzle ball can have the same effect on cats and rabbits. These stimulating toys help take their mind off what’s going on around them and can even help them forget their fears.

12. Make sure they’re microchipped

Spooked pets can run away, especially cats, so make sure they’re properly microchipped to make them easily identifiable if they do. If your pet’s already microchipped, make sure your contact details are up to date so you can be contacted straight away.