There are many things you can do at home if you know your pet is very frightened of the noises of fireworks. Make sure your pets are in a safe and secure environment at all times so when the sudden noises begin they can not escape and run away.
You could have some background noise such as the TV, music or the radio going, so when the fireworks go off they are not as noticable. For young pets, there are a few different techniques you can use to make these loud firework noises a normal part of everyday life for your pet, even before Guy Fawkes Day arrives. There are noise CDs that you can purchase (or search on YouTube/Spotify for rain or thunder sounds for dogs/cats), which have a variety of noises that could potentially be frightening, to help desensitise your pets to these scary sounds. These potentially-frightening sounds are good to have on in the background very quietly during the day while you are at home so it makes seem like these noises are an everyday part of life. When your young pet hears a loud noise or is frightened of something, it is a good idea not to fuss over your pet too much because if you do it will make your pet think you were also frightened so he/she should be too. When he/she comes running up looking worried, just say (in a normal tone) “it's alright” and then carry on with what you were doing.
Some signs that your dog or cat is feeling anxious or fearful include:
Looking for their owners
On Guy Fawkes Day - just before sunset, you can move your pet to a dark room that has familiar things such as toys and blankets. This will help with the scary flashing lights and make him/her feel more comfortable surrounded by familiar things. When the noises are happening, you could try to play a game or do some training, remembering not to show any fear or worry while doing this.
If you know of a pet that is not worried about the noises and they get along with your pet, it can be a good idea to get them to hang out together for the night so the scared pet can see there is nothing to worry about.
There are other options out there also, such as drugs to calm your pet. This would require a visit to the vet clinic (before Guy Fawkes Day) for a check up and to ensure that the medication selected is safe for your pet to use. There is also a diffuser called Adaptil that contains the dog appeasing pheromone, which should be plugged into a power socket for a week before the fireworks season. This diffuser contains a pheromone that is found in all lactating bitches between 3-5 days after giving birth, that triggers the dog's brain to believe things are familiar and complements the dog's natural relaxation mechanisms and therefore make the dog feel like everything is normal and there is no need for worry. A similar type of calming aid called Feliway, is available for our feline companions. Find out more about the calming aids available over the counter at our clinic here.
The above information is provided for educational purposes only and not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice, diagnosis or treatment; and should not be relied on solely as veterinary advice. For more information or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us on 063588675.