How to protect your pets that are frightened by fireworks

Many YOU readers shared their stories of how frightened their pets are by the fireworks going off before Guy Fawkes. But how can you help your precious animals? The SPCA shares a few tips.

If you are unsure as to how your pets will be affected note that animals that are sensitive to thunderstorms are likely to react similarly to the noise of fireworks. Regardless, it's always best to take precautionary measures.

  • More family pets will run away from home during holidays involving fireworks than any other days of the year. As a precautionary measure in case your pets are frightened and run away, make sure your animals have identification tags or microchips to ensure that they are returned safely when they are found.
  • If possible, stay home with your animals if you suspect fireworks fiends are about.
  • If you can't be home with your animals, keep them inside. Make sure that your pets have access to their favourite "safe place” or find a quiet, comfortable, enclosed room where your pets can "hide” if they need to. Ensure that they cannot break through a window or slip out of a door. Keep soft toys and blankets around them.
  • Attempt to mask any noise by drawing curtains and playing calming music at a reasonable volume. If your pet is in a cage, cover the cage with a thick blanket to muffle the sound.
  • Keep some lights on – it will be less severe when light from the fireworks go off and your animal will feel more secure than if it were dark.
  • Put familiar and comforting things around them such as toys, baskets, etc.
  • Provide them with something to do such as giving your dog a chewy bone or lots of catnip or a catnip toy for felines.
  • If your pets do react badly to fireworks then seek professional advice from your veterinarian ahead of time.
  • Ensure your pets have a hearty and nutritious meal around nightfall and make sure they are hydrated. This will make them more likely to be sleepy!
First published November 2013
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