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Handy Help for Pet Owners in Firework Season

The coming weeks are busy times in the fireworks industry. First, you’ll spook your friends and family on Halloween and then continue with the Bonfire Night celebrations followed by the fantastic Diwali festival. These colourful festivals will pave their way to the ultimate fireworks showdown of New Year’s Eve.

dog watching fireworks from window

While most of us can’t wait for the party to begin, pets and pet owners might be feeling a little less excited. As you know from our previous post, fireworks can cause distress among pets and it is important to focus on making the firework season as bearable to man’s best friends as possible.
Here are some of the best tips to help pet owners and pets survive the firework season.

Avoid Unnecessary Stress

First, it’s important to make sure you don’t intentionally put your pets under any more stress than needed. Don’t keep your pets outdoors during the big nights, but rather keep them in with all the windows closed to minimise sound.
It might sound obvious, but it needs to be said: do not take your pets to a fireworks display! The crowds, together with the loud bangs, are going to get your pet restless.
If you are a dog owner, then you must eventually walk your pet. Don’t do this in the middle of the biggest celebration. Take your pet outside early enough and perhaps wait until the main party is over for the night walk. You can find the legal times for setting off fireworks here.
The key is to keep your dog leashed at all times, whether or not they are used to walking without one.

Create a Calming Environment

If you are heading out to a party (and even if you’re not), create as serene environment for your pet as you can. Put on the blinds, leave on a light for the pet and perhaps even play relaxing music. There are pet specific CDs that are worth trying out. There are even some essential oils, such as lavender, which can help calm your pet.
Don’t be overly pampering though. Reward your pet’s good behaviour, but don’t act nervously yourself. If your pet sees that you are fine with the noise, then they will feel more relaxed as well.
Allow your pet to move around; don’t confine them to a small room, especially if you don’t typically do so. At the same time, it’s a good idea to get all valuables out of the way! Even if your pet isn’t typically one to scratch your leather shoes or eat your cardigans, the unusual circumstances might get your pet to do unusual things.

Prepare Your Pet

It’s a good idea to desensitise your pets to the noises before the actual day. In case of most animals, the sooner you do so the better. So, if you get a new kitten or a puppy, consider playing firework videos to get your pet used to the noise.
Desensitisation has been proven to help many pets and it’ll only require a bit of effort on your part. Even if your pet is older, you can still try to get them used to the loud bangs before the actual firework season begins.
Monitor your pet’s behaviour during the firework season and see what methods help ease the anxiety the most. Don’t be too alarmed by little whimpering or pacing around – you’re pet is unlikely to be in any real pain because of the fireworks. If your pet’s behaviour worries you, always consult your vet for more information. In some instances, it might be possible to provide light medication to control your pet’s anxiety and ensure you can enjoy the show without worrying!

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