With Bonfire Night and fireworks season approaching, many pet owners are wondering how best to protect their fur babies.
This time of year can often cause a great deal of stress for owners, especially if their pets are particularly anxious at the sound and sight of firework displays.
Now, animal charity PDSA has shared a selection of important tips, on how to best protect your pets this season.
The charity advises starting your pre-fireworks prep in advance, in a bid to get your pets used to the bangs and whistles as early as you can.
They advise playing firework noises throughout the home, while pairing with their favourite treats. If your pet shows any signs of stress, stop the noises, and try again at a lower volume.
It's also vital to secure your home and garden, as fearful pets often tend to panic and scarper. Ensure there are no holes in your garden fences - and always keep the front and back doors closed.
PDSA also explain the importance of creating a safe space for your pet. "Create a ‘den’ in a quiet room or cupboard, which your pet can use as a safe space to hide in," they explain.
"It’s important that your pet already views this space as a safe place that they can escape to. Make it extra cosy with blankets and their favourite toys and treats, and add pillows or cushions to help absorb the loud noises – you can also do the same to hutches for smaller four-legged friends, who may also appreciate some extra bedding to hide away in."
You can also prepare a calming playlist to disguise the sounds of loud bangs and help your pet stay relaxed.
PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “The firework season may be an especially difficult time for pups who were raised during lockdown – our 2021 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report shows that 15 per cent of UK dogs (139,000) obtained during the pandemic are showing signs of fear.
"One well recognised fear in dogs is noise phobias, and our previous research reports that 40 per cent of dogs are afraid of fireworks. Of those dogs owned before the pandemic, our research revealed three per cent of dogs (260,000) were reported as showing signs of fear, so it’s unknown what the impact will be come November.
“Thankfully, there are simple steps to reduce distress in our furry family members – the sooner you can start preparing the better.
"While some pets who are very affected by fireworks can take months of training to make them more comfortable with the bangs and flashes, there are still plenty of things you can do now to help. PDSA has produced a free guide to help owners lessen the impact of this stressful period.”
If you are in any way concerned about your pet over the fireworks season, it's always best to chat to your vet for help and advice.
You can find PDSA’s free Firework Guide here.