With fireworks being set off earlier and earlier each year, October and November can be stressful for pets as owners try to keep them calm during firework season.
Pets at Home Bedford is therefore advising pet owners to start their preparations earlier, to make sure the season is a stress-free as possible for their furry friends.
Clarise Kelly, store manager of Pets at Home Bedford, said: “It can be quite distressing to see your pet scared and stressed, but there’s lots of ways you can support them and make them feel at ease.
“It’s important to stay relaxed yourself as pets will become hyper-sensitive to your own mood if they are feeling anxious.
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“For more advice on keeping your pet calm and healthy during the firework season, just pop in store and we’ll be happy to help you find a solution to your own pets needs and worries.”
Pets at Home’s top tips include:
1. Create a safe place
Find a quiet part of your home and help your pet learn that this is an enjoyable and safe place to be.
When the fireworks start, your pet should be allowed to go here and rest undisturbed.
It’s worth purchasing a plug-in diffuser that releases a calming natural remedy to help de-stress your pet.
These don’t work instantly so it’s important to start using them now in the run-up to Bonfire Night.
2. Provide distractions
Introduce your pet to a variety of toys to keep them entertained and distracted from the noise.
3. Let them be
Don’t try to coax them out of their hiding place, they will emerge when they feel relaxed and ready.
You should also provide a litter tray in a private area for cats.
4. Stick to your normal routine
This will help your pets to feel more settled. However, do try to walk your dogs before the darkness sets in, as this is when fireworks are likely to be set off.
5. Keep your pets inside
Keep your pets safe indoors and secure all doors, windows and cat flaps to ensure they don’t run off. Make sure they are microchipped in case they manage to escape.
6. Understand out-of-character behaviour
Your pet may act out of character when scared, but try not to worry about this unusual behaviour. Leave them alone unless they are likely to harm themselves or others.
7. Drown out the noise
Close all windows and curtains, turn up the TV volume slightly or play some music to drown out loud noise.
8. Provide cover for cages
Noise phobia affects all types of pets, so remember to cover up bird aviaries and cages with a thick blanket, ensuring that there is enough ventilation.
9. Protect pets that live outside
If your pets live outside, partly cover enclosures with blankets so that one area is covered and so they can still look out. Give your pets extra bedding so they can hide and burrow to help them feel safe.
10. Speak to an advisor
You can speak to your vet or the store team at your local Pets at Home store who can advise you on suitable calming products and techniques specific to your pet.
To find out more about keeping your cat or dog calm, visit: www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/calming-pet-page