The team at Star Fireworks includes animal lovers and pet parents who also happen to love fireworks. After comparing notes and talking to Veterinarians, we have come up with the following guide to calming pets who are afraid of loud noises. We hope you find this guide useful and it helps your pets have a stress free Bonfire Night.
Small Pets such as Rabbits, Rodents and Birds should be brought into a quiet room or the garage. Give your pets extra bedding to burrow into so they feel secure. Aviaries and hutches can be covered with a thick blanket to block out the sight and sound of the fireworks. However, make sure there is enough ventilation.
Dogs and Cats
Dogs and Cats should always be kept inside when fireworks or a loud thunderstorm is expected. Close all windows and doors, and block off cat flaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum. According to studies (Crowell-Davis et al., 2003) 90% of stressful dogs can be helped.
Arranging Your Home
Allow cats and dogs to pace about and find a favourite hiding place. Prepare the hiding place with blankets and pillows to muffle the noise and reduce flashing light. Close curtains and blinds as this will also reduce noise and stimuli. Familiar noises such as music, the television or the washing machine are also useful to drown out the bangs and whistles.
Through A Dogs Ear is a website with musical downloads that have been pet tested to calm your dog in many different situations. The Dogs Trust has compiled a selection of free downloads of noises that can be played to puppies to socialise them to sounds they may have to deal with. This early exposure is a great way to head off future problems.
The Show Tech Ear Buddy also helps muffle sound and has the added benefit of protecting your dog's ears while grooming. It is a good idea to get your dog familiar with it before they are in a stressful situation.
Walk your dog in the morning before Fireworks are expected. Exercise is the best way to bring your dog into a calm state. Marrow bones, training exercises and problem-solving toys are all great ways to distract your dog from the noise.
How to Act
Dogs and some cats are influenced by the way their owners are behaving. The best thing you can do for your pet is stay calm and talk in a level reassuring voice. Do not try to sound cheerful as this can be exciting to your pet and raise anxiety.
Battersea Dogs Home has a wonderful video on how to train your dog to be calm during firework season.
If you don't have time to train your dog to accept firework noises Fetch.co.uk has many remedies for a quick intervention. The ones we have tried and found effective are The Thunder Shirt Calming Dog Vest, Adaptil Plug-in Diffuser and YuCalm dog stress and Anxiety Supplement. They also have products that are great for cats.