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Here’s How To Protect Your Pets On Fireworks Night

Here’s How To Protect Your Pets On Fireworks Night

We'll freely admit that fireworks night was once one of our favourite times of the year. The jumpers, the toffee apples and the mugs of hot chocolate...

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But it's hardly a secret that the noise and flashing lights can be pretty terrifying for animals.

Recently, leading vet charity PDSA found that 7.3 million cats and dogs are afraid of fireworks - meaning they're likely sat at home anxious and miserable throughout the firework season.

Animals can find fireworks night very distressing (Credit: Pexels)
Animals can find fireworks night very distressing (Credit: Pexels)

PDSA Veterinary Nurse, Joanne Wright explained: "Pets have sensitive hearing, so a sudden loud noise to us can be utterly terrifying to them, particularly as they don't understand the source of the loud bangs and bright flashes.

"When they become scared, their first instinct can be to run from the danger, which means they could easily go missing, putting them at risk of road accidents, getting lost or being injured."

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Fear of fireworks can also cause pets to "physically shake with fear, cry or bark loudly, soil the house, destroy furniture, or in some cases become injured if they're panicked".

So what can you do to prevent this stress over fireworks night? We've compiled a helpful guide.

Are you protecting your pet from the bangs of fireworks? (Credit: Pexels)
Are you protecting your pet from the bangs of fireworks? (Credit: Pexels)

Try to minimise the noise inside

While you can't control the crashes and bangs of the fireworks next door, you can make your house as sound-proof as possible with a few easy steps.

Shut all doors, windows and curtains, and make sure your cat flaps are sealed.

The PDSA vets also advise playing music with "repetitive beats and low frequencies" to mask the noise.

Build your pet's tolerance

Training your cat to get used to the bangs of fireworks could help (Credit: Unsplash)
Training your cat to get used to the bangs of fireworks could help (Credit: Unsplash)

Another way to equip your pet ahead of time is to build their tolerance to the noise.

One method of doing this is by playing fireworks noises very quietly and rewarding to acclimatise them, gradually building up the noise level in advance of fireworks night.

"For the best results this needs to be started a couple of months before Bonfire Night," the vets advise.

Soundproof hutches and cages

Soundproof your animal's cage if possible (Credit: Pixabay)
Soundproof your animal's cage if possible (Credit: Pixabay)

If you have a smaller animal that lives in a hutch, like a rabbit, guinea pig or hamster, it's also important to make sure their home is as sound proofed as possible.

PDSA advises: "For happy bunnies, sound-proof their hutches and outdoor cages by partly covering them with blankets and put in plenty of bedding - this helps keep noise out and gives them somewhere to hide."

Turning the hutch to face a wall might also be a good way to limit noise and light, as long as there's still enough room for ventilation.

Behavioural therapy or medication

Your vet may be able to help your pet with therapy or medication (Credit: PA)
Your vet may be able to help your pet with therapy or medication (Credit: PA)

In more extreme cases, vets have several methods to help your pet deal with fear of loud noises.

If you have a cat or a dog, they can offer behavioural therapy in order to help your animal develop coping strategies when they are worried. Plus, in severe cases pets can even be prescribed medication to help.

It's important your vet knows your pet, though, as some medication can increase fear if it's not suitable.

Pheromone products to relieve stress

If your pet isn't quite anxious enough for either of the above, but you're keen to ease their stress a little, why not try pheromone products?

The PSDA vets advise: "Pet pheromone products are said to mimic natural cat or dog pheromones and come in various forms, including sprays, plug-in diffusers, wipes and collars."

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There are lots of pheromone products that can help cats and dogs (Credit: PDSA)
There are lots of pheromone products that can help cats and dogs (Credit: PDSA)

You can get your hands on a whole load here.

Get your pet microchipped

With all these tips in place, hopefully your pet won't run away - even temporarily. But unfortunately it is a risk on fireworks night. Getting your pet micro-chipped is a great way to minimise this fear.

If they run away you'll quickly be able to be reunited again.

Make a den

Keep your pet cosy in its very own den (Credit: Unsplash)
Keep your pet cosy in its very own den (Credit: Unsplash)

Making a den is a great way to help your pet feel at ease at home on fireworks night.

"A safe place to hide, in a cupboard or behind a sofa, can help pets cope with fear. Pad it with cushions and blankets for soundproofing and give healthy treats and praise when they use it to help build a positive association," PDSA vets say.

The likelihood is, if they are already used to going into the den ahead of Bonfire Night, your pet will already think of it as somewhere safe to escape the bangs.

Buy low noise alternatives

There are plenty of low noise fireworks too (Credit: Unsplash)
There are plenty of low noise fireworks too (Credit: Unsplash)

If you're holding a fireworks display of your own, buy low noise alternatives that will be less disruptive for animals - and your neighbours!

There are loads on offer in ASDA, Morrisons and Tesco now, among other stores.

Here's where you can find some.

Stay composed

Most importantly... keep calm. If you're reacting to the bangs then it's likely your pet will react too.

With these tips in mind, hopefully fireworks night will be as stress-free as possible.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: Life News, Fireworks, Life, Animals

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla who loves writing about all things food, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She also has a particular interest in women's issues.

 

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