Tips to Help Keep Your Pet Happy During the Fireworks Season
- Provide a safe hiding space
- Secure all exit points (windows, doors, cat flaps etc) - have your pet microchipped so that they can be identified if they escape.
- Decrease visual exposure to the fireworks - keep your pets indoors, away from windows, and shut the curtains
- Muffle the sounds of the fireworks - Keep your windows and doors closed; turn the TV or radio on etc
- Provide distractions - Use special toys only for the fireworks season; food puzzles etc
- Reward calm behaviour with treats and praise
- If you walk your dog/s in the evening, ensure that the walk is completed and they are home safe, before the fireworks start
- Consider the use of calming aids that can be purchased over the counter (e.g Adaptil, Feliway, Thundershirts), or consult your veterinarian to discuss starting your pet on some anti-anxiety medications to tide him/her over the fireworks season
- Try your best to be at home with your pets when the fireworks are going on and be a role model for your pets. Remember to remain calm and relaxed during the fireworks season, as if nothing bad is happening.
- Be sure to give your pet plenty of time and space to recover after the fireworks are done for the night.
- Do not punish your pet! This will make the anxiety and fear of fireworks worse for your pet.
- Do not overdo reassurance – this may inadvertently reinforce the anxious and fearful behaviour.
- Do not force your pet to face its fear of fireworks (e.g. do not insist that your pet watches you set off fireworks in your backyard)
- Do not leave addressing your pet's aversion towards fireworks to the last minute.
- Do not ignore your pet's potential aversion to fireworks – because the fear will generally get worse over time.
Please do not hesitate to contact the clinic if you have any questions or concerns.
Published by Cahill Animal Hospital on 01 October 2015