As we enter October, it’s time to think about the upcoming festivities that prove to be rather troublesome for our pets. Bonfire Night – enjoyable for most, can be a few weeks of stress and anxiety for nearly all animals. No longer isolated to one night, we want to help our customers be best prepared on how to comfort their pets over this period.
It’s beneficial to be in the know. Prior to this time of year, approach your neighbours to find out when they are holding their displays, so you’re not caught unawares, and don’t forget to check bigger, local displays too.
Dogs and cats
You need to know the signs. When dogs are anxious, they will commonly: pant, pace, yawn, salivate, shake, growl, and exhibit a lack of appetite. For cats, you may notice them hiding more than normal, shivering, scratching, spraying and grooming excessively.
For dogs and for cats, it’s important that your property is secure. Check all garden fencing for holes that smaller animals can fit through – in a blind panic, animals can force themselves through tiny gaps. They should be kept inside for the duration of a firework display, otherwise you could risk losing them. Keep all windows and doors closed and remember to block off the cat-flap too.
For added comfort, also keep all curtains closed. Not only does this help keep noise down, it block out flashes too. Both dogs and cats like to hide when stressed, and would appreciate a spot in the house that is quiet, and features some of their favourite blankets and toys that give them a sense of familiarity. You could also play the radio or have the TV on to help drown out the noise.
It is critical that you do not worry your pet even more by over-compensating for their behaviour. Be there for them, but don’t act strangely. If they want to hide under the bed, let them and don’t try and coax them out – that’s their coping mechanism and interfering could have the opposite effect.
For smaller pets such as hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs – the same rules follow in terms of making sure their enclosures are secure. You could also lay a blanket over the top of the enclosure too to block out light and noise, providing a ‘safe’ environment for them however, make sure there is still an adequate amount of ventilation. Add extra bedding too so they are able to burrow down and escape the noise – try and sleep through the night.
We hope this advice has helped inform you on how best to cope with pet anxiety over fireworks season – feel free to call us for any questions or pop down to your local store and talk your queries through with our staff.