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Bonfire Night Top Tips!

Remember, remember your pets this November - and don't forget that the same rules apply on New Years Eve!

Informative image: Cat and dog in sillouette watching fireworks

In the weeks running up to 5th November you will hear the sound of fireworks being set off, usually starting early evening. Whilst these noises will be familiar to you, they can be very disturbing for your pets and we have listed some handy tips below which might help you to keep you pet as stress free as possible during Bonfire Night.

Dogs

Preparing before the event

  • Prepare a den for your dog in their favourite place - watch the handy video below which talks you through building an ideal den!
  • Plug in an Adaptil diffuser (available from any of our branches) near to the den and provide your dog with toys and treats
  • Playing one of our sounds for life CDs in the weeks running up to Bonfire Night, starting on a very low volume and gradually increasing may help desensitise your pet to the sound

On the day of the event

  • Walk your dog before dusk. This reduces the likelihood of any fireworks being let off while you are out
  • Provide distractions such as a new chew or toy
  • Close the curtains and switch on the TV or radio to mask the noise of any fireworks
  • Don’t punish your dog when he is scared
  • Important: ignore any fearful behaviour such as panting, shaking and whining. Comforting, petting and reassuring your dog whilst they are scared will only make them worse and will make them feel that they are right to be worried. Instead, act completely normally.
  • Try not to leave your dog alone when fireworks are going off. Keep your routine as normal as possible

After the event

  • Leave the Adaptil diffuser plugged in for at least a week
  • Behavioural therapy may be required once the firework season is over

Cats

Preparing before the event

  • Plug in a Feliway Diffuser in your cat’s favourite room
  • Provide some hiding places for your cat to retreat to – they often prefer to hide up some where higher up or elevated
  • If you haven’t already done so think about getting your cat micro-chipped – if they did manage to escape during a firework event it will be easier to identify your pet if it becomes lost or runs off to hide up elsewhere

On the day of the event

  • Before the event starts make sure your cat is inside the house and all the windows and doors are firmly closed to prevent your cat from escaping. Remember to provide a litter tray if they don’t usually have one
  • Close the curtains and put the TV or radio on to mask the noise from the fireworks
  • Once your cat has chosen somewhere to hide up, leave them well alone until they feel safe to come out after all the fireworks have finished
  • Stay calm and act normally – do not punish or fuss your cat during the firework event

After the event

  • Leave the Feliway Diffuser plugged in for at least one week

If you would like more advice about how to deal with your cats during Firework Season please ask to speak to one of our nurses, receptionists or customer care manager who will be more than happy to help you.

Watch this great video for advice on how to build a fireworks den for your dog and help keep them stress free, plus you can now download some fireworks sounds from The Dogs Trust website.

Small Pets

Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, ferrets and birds all need to be treated with special care when fireworks are being let off. These animals are easily frightened. Owners of such types of small animal should follow these precautions:

  • Hutches/cages and enclosures should, if possible, be brought into a quiet room indoors, or into a garage or shed.
  • Give your pet extra bedding to burrow into so it feels safe.
  • If you cannot bring your pet’s hutch inside, you should turn its enclosure around so that it faces a wall or fence instead of the open garden.
  • Cover any aviaries or hutches with thick blankets or a duvet to block out the sight of the fireworks and deaden the sound of the bangs, but make sure there is enough ventilation.
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