Many residents enjoyed firework displays and bonfire events last weekend, however, for pet owners and four-legged friends, fireworks can be distressing. A report by vet charity PDSA found that 40 per cent of owners say their pets are afraid of fireworks.
Pets senses are more sensitive than humans, meaning that loud bangs, high pitched sounds, unexpected flashes and the unfamiliar smells of fireworks can be scary.
PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “The firework season may be an especially difficult time for pups who were raised during lockdown, our 2021 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report shows that 15 per cent of UK dogs (139,000) obtained during the pandemic are showing signs of fear. One well-recognised fear in dogs is noise phobias.”
With New Year’s Eve around the corner and more fireworks expected, the following advice has been issued to help pet owners:
- Take your dog for a walk before dark, well before fireworks are due to begin, to avoid scaring your dog.
- Don’t pick up cats or restrain them if they are scared: cats prefer to control how they cope.
- Keep doors, windows and cat and dog flaps closed.
- Draw the curtains and play music with a repetitive beat to help mask the sounds.
- If your pet prefers to go away and hide, let them.
- If your pet seeks reassurance from you in stressful times, comfort them as you would normally.
- Stay calm. Keep your tone, mood and behaviour as normal as possible.
- Never punish your pets. It’s not their fault they’re scared, and it adds to their anxiety.
- Get your pet microchipped and ensure your details are up to date
- Feed a calming pet food or supplement to help manage your pet’s stress and anxiety
For more advice visit www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/all-pets/pets-and-fireworks