The fireworks season is about to begin, and whilst fireworks may be magical for us, they can be frightening for our pets. Even though there are still a couple of weeks until displays traditionally begin, we can start getting ready now to help our pets cope better on the day. Read on for a few stress-relieving initiatives to carry out now!
Building a doggy den will give your four-legged friend plenty of time to familiarise themselves with somewhere safe they know they can go to if they feel scared or threatened. Build a den far away from windows and in a family room where your dog will have company on the night. Dragging blankets over a dog crate provides a great hidey hole and helps to muffle bangs. If you don’t have a dog crate, an old box or creating a safe space behind the sofa with blankets draped across to create a ceiling is just as effective. Put old bedding inside the den, and you can even pop in some of your old clothes so that your dog has reassuring, familiar smells around them to help them feel safe.
Cats love to hide too! Make sure they have somewhere they can tuck themselves away. A box with cosy bedding and a blanket on top is perfect. Setting this up now means they have plenty of time to get used to their safe spot for a couple of weeks’ time. Cats often feel safest up high, so clearing a shelf or the top of a cupboard is ideal, but make sure any cat bed is safely positioned and not in danger of falling. A cosy spot under a bed – or even under a duvet! – may be just as popular.
Pheromone treatments are the synthetic reproduction of hormones that help pets to feel calmer and more comfortable in their own environment, and need to be started ahead of the event for best effect. There are lots of products available: diffusers you can plug in at home, sprays for localised areas like pet bedding and even pheromone collars for dogs. Now is the time to pop into to get your treatments in practice! Feliway and Adaptil currently have a special offer running to help you and your dog or cat this fireworks season. Buy the Feliway Classic Diffuser (for cats) or the Adaptil Calm Home Diffuser or Adaptil collar (for dogs) and receive a pheromone spray free! Cats get a free cat carrier cover too to help with your den building!*
The fireworks season is a good time to consider microchipping your pet if they are not already chipped, and to get your pet chipped well in advance of flashing lights and bangs starting. Pets that are microchipped are much more likely to be reunited with their owners if the worst happens and they run off to hide. If your pet is microchipped, please do check your chip contact details are up to date. Don’t forget to make sure ID tags display current contact information.
And make sure you know when your local fireworks display is taking place! Dates across the region can vary. Being forewarned is forearmed and means you can ensure you and your pet are properly prepared.
For more advice on helping nervous pets over the fireworks season, book into one of our free qualified nurse-led clinics.
*Feliway Classic 60ml spray/ 60ml Adaptil Transport Spray. No mix and match between Adaptil and Feliway products. Other terms & conditions apply. Ask in practice for details.