Firework Fear

Many of our pets become stressed around fireworks night, just the thought of it brings panic to their owners! The perceived threat and accompanying fear is very real to your dog and cat. As with many things prevention via desensitisation as a puppy or kitten is better than cure but what can we do if the fear has set in?

Top tips for dogs on fireworks night

  • Walk your dog during the day before it gets dark and way before fireworks are due to start. Ideally give them a longer walk than usual so that they are physically and mentally tired and therefore more likely to be relaxed once fireworks start.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed to block out the flashing lights and also to muffle the sound of the fireworks.
  • Put the TV or radio on in the background to block out the noise as much as possible. However do not have the TV or radio turned up too loud as this could also stress your dog.

Top tips for cats on fireworks night

  • Keep curtains and blinds closed to block out the flashing lights and also to muffle the sound of the fireworks.
  • Put the TV or radio on in the background to block out the noise as much as possible. However do not have the TV or radio turned up too loud as this could also stress your cat.
  • Provide your cat with a cardboard box or similar and ideally place this up high as cats like a high vantage point as it helps them to feel safe.

My dog keeps trying to hide behind the sofa, should I coax him out?

If your dog wants to hide, let him! It has been proven that dogs that have a hiding place recover from a fearful experience much more quickly than those dogs that had nowhere to hide. Create a den by using a dog crate covered with a blanket or towel and put some tasty treats or new toy in there to allow him to explore.

Are there any calming supplements you could recommend?

Yes we recommend various products depending on the nature of your pet’s reactions. These include Adaptil, Feliway, Pet Remedy, Calming diets, Zylkene and Calmex. Always speak to us first to find out which is most appropriate for your pet.

Can I sedate my dog during fireworks night as he is wrecking the house?

No. It has been shown that sedating a dog can make them worse in future. Often they are aware of the fear but are less able to react. Outwardly they can appear calm but inwardly they can be still be terrified leading to further problems in the future. We can however provide a prescription medication that can reduce noise anxiety so please contact us if you would like more information.