How to calm your pet during the fireworks

It’s that time of year again, the trick-or-treaters are gone but the fireworks are keeping people entertained instead. The loud bangs and flashing colours can frighten cats and dogs and can go on for weeks before and after Bonfire Night. With Fireworks Night approaching us fast, try to help your pet feel more relaxed by following the SOUNDS advice from Joii’s behaviour expert Heather Thomas.

SOUNDS acronym – actions to calm your pet

Safety: Make sure your pet is safe; gates and doors are locked and shut to prevent any escape. Animals that are worried are more likely to try to run away.

Opinion from a vet for extra support: If your pet suffers from noise issues, be prepared to call a vet for some extra help and support for the worst of the evenings.

Undo the scary association: Try to create a positive association with the noises that worry your pet – give them something nice to chew instead to help them to relax.

Noise reduction: Close the curtains, close the doors and drown out the noise with the radio – classical music and reggae have been proven to help animals to relax. All of these will help drown out the sound of those fireworks making them more bearable.

Dusk indoors: Make sure any planned dog walks are moved to earlier in the day; this is so that your pet is indoors by dusk to prevent any fireworks worrying them whilst they are outside.

Safe haven: Create a safe haven and den for your pet to hide away in – plugin an Adaptil or Feliway diffuser nearby to help them to relax.

Fireworks and other unexpected loud noises can prove very scary for pets

Other ways to help your cat or dog on Bonfire Night

Give your pet the space they need

Let your cat or dog, pace, whine or hide if it helps them cope with the night’s noise and lights. They are just trying to find safety. Some pets will come to you for comfort, don’t ignore them if they do but be sure to remain calm and behave as normal.

Things to remember

There are some things you’ll need to do that won’t keep your pet calm but will help keep them safe this firework season.

Make sure they’re microchipped

While it’s now law for dogs to be microchipped, the same rules don’t apply to cats. It’s always a good idea to get your pet microchipped so that if they ever manage to stray, they’ll be able to be scanned at a veterinary practice and you’ll be reunited a lot quicker. This is especially important on nights like Bonfire Night when loud noises and bright flashes can scare cats and dogs can make cats and dogs bolt in fear.

Making sure your pet is appropriately tagged can help too, by including your name, address and phone number in case they do manage to escape.

Speak to your vet

If you know your pet is likely to struggle to cope with the fireworks season why not speak to your vet and see if they’re able to prescribe calming medication or suggest any calming exercises that you could test with your cat or dog.

If you are really worried about your pet why not dial through and talk to one of Joii’s behaviour experts about what may be best for your pet; they could design a bespoke plan for you all to follow so that everyone is a little more comfortable!

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