Fireworks season is a dreaded time of year for many animal owners. While they may be fun for us humans, many of our four-legged friends find fireworks to be incredibly frightening and in Glasgow, it is often the case that fireworks are not confined to only one night of the year. For this reason, we advise owners to prepare for fireworks a few weeks before bonfire night, so you and your pet are not caught off guard.
We would advise all pet owners to try to remain home with their pets on bonfire night as this will prevent pets from becoming too upset. Never take your pet to a fireworks display – even if they seem fine on the night.
Signs that your pet is frightened can include:
- Whining, barking, howling or excessive purring.
- Shaking, hiding or pacing.
- Looking for attention more than usual – becoming very cuddly.
- Drooling or excessive panting.
Advice for Cat Owners:
- Keep cats indoors – ensure all windows, doors and catflaps are closed so they cannot escape and get disorientated or lost. This will also reduce the noise levels in the house.
- Create suitable hiding places or ‘dens’ for them to hide away in. If they are hiding, try not to disturb them or move them from their spot. Ensure food and waters is available to them when they emerge.
- Never scold them for being frightened, noisy or overly affectionate as this may only distress them more.
- Consider the use of Pheromone diffusers such as Feliway – you should discuss this with your vet a few weeks prior to Bonfire Night.
- Should they escape or become lost, ensure that your pet’s microchip details are up to date.
Advice for Dog Owners:
- Try to walk your dog during the day and keep them on a lead.
- When home, close all doors, curtains and windows to reduce the noise and turn up the TV or radio to slightly higher levels than usual.
- Build them a den or safe space for them to hide away in should they want to. You can do this with a bed or crate which they are already used to, and fill the space with familiar toys and blankets.
- Try not to make a fuss of your pet when fireworks start to go off, this can increase their worry if they sense that you are also on edge. Equally, never scold them for being frightened, noisy or overly affectionate.
- Consider Pheromone diffusers/collars or investing in a Thundershirt – you should discuss this with your vet a few weeks prior.
If your pet is especially anxious during fireworks season, be sure to contact the practice on 0141 339 1228 to discuss the additional ways which we can help your pet to remain calm during this period.