Top tips to keep your pets safe during fireworks season this year - Veterinary Practice
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Top tips to keep your pets safe during fireworks season this year

Fireworks displays in people’s gardens make it tricky to prepare

Although it’s likely that many official fireworks displays will be cancelled this year because of COVID restrictions, unfortunately it doesn’t mean pet owners will escape the anxiety associated with bonfire night. With no public displays, it may mean more people will hold fireworks displays in their gardens. This could cause greater distress for our pets because the noisy explosions and flashes will be even closer to home. It also makes it tricky to prepare because it is difficult to predict when private displays will happen, unlike the large public events.

However, there are some simple steps you can take to help keep your pets calm and happy during fireworks season. John O’Connor, Vet and Corporate Affairs Director at Royal Canin, gives his top tips for keeping your pet calm:

  1. Plan ahead: If you know your pet is sensitive to fireworks, ask your neighbours if they plan to hold any fireworks in their gardens. This will prevent you being caught out and give you time to make preparations to keep your pet calm.
  2. Minimise the noise: Shut all windows and doors, draw curtains and close blinds to help block out the noise and bright flashes.
  3. Mask the noise: Use familiar sounds to disguise the sound of the fireworks. Turn on the TV, radio or even the washing machine help mask the noise.
  4. Help your pet feel safe: Keep your pet indoors and avoid leaving them alone when it’s dark and the likelihood of fireworks increases. Create places where they can hide if they want to and consider using a pheromone support or dog anxiety jacket. Comfort is key.
  5. Think about diet: Feed your cat or dog before the fireworks start as this can help to settle them. Ensure there is plenty of fresh water available as stressed animals pant more which will make them thirstier. Another option to is to consider a diet with certain nutrients known to help support a calm state. One such diet that has been used by many caring pet owners is the Royal Canin Calm diet, which contains a combination of two ingredients known to help support emotional balance and should be fed at least 10 days prior to the anticipated event for the best results.
  6. Change walk time: Alter the time you exercise your dog to minimise the chance of them being out when fireworks are being let off. Walk them in the afternoon or morning just for that day or even for a couple of days leading up to the night so they can readjust.
  7. Distract your pet: Distract your pet with something they enjoy such as grooming or playing with their favourite toy. Avoid giving them treats as this could reinforce their anxious behaviour.
  8. Ensure you pet is microchipped: In case your pet runs away from home, ensure they are chipped and their details are up to date on the database.

Nutrition and a comfortable environment can go a long way to help keep your pet calm. Taking these simple steps can help with a peaceful and calm 5 of November for you and your companion.

Veterinary Practice

Veterinary Practice is an online knowledge and information hub for veterinary professionals across all specialties. It provides reliable, useful and interesting content, written by expert authors and covering small animal, large animal, equine and practice management sectors of the veterinary surgeon and nursing professions.

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