This November, many people living in the UK will be getting ready to celebrate Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night by attending many fireworks displays. Although fireworks can be entertaining for many people, the sudden loud explosions and light flashes can be extremely frightening for cats and dogs, not to mention their concerned owners. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted five pet safety tips for you to consider during the fireworks season.
1. Remain Calm
Cats and dogs are very responsive to their owner’s behaviour and mood, so it is vital that you try and remain as calm as possible during fireworks season. A great way of calming your cat or dog down is to continue their daily routines. Dogs in particular, thrive on routine. A routine based on daily exercise that includes dog walks, training, and grooming can help to calm and comfort your pet. If you regularly visit secure dog parks, ensure you go on your dog walks during the daylight hours before the noisy fireworks start. It is important that your dog enjoys their walk in a relaxed and familiar environment free from any sudden loud noises.
2. Create Safe Retreats
During the fireworks season, create a safe and secure den in your home for your pets. You can build a comfortable den and fill it with your cat or dog’s favourite blankets and toys to help them settle in and feel calm during the fireworks season. To provide extra comfort for your pets, place an unwashed item of your clothing into their den as this will carry your scent. Dogs rely heavily on their strong sense of smell and so your scent can help them feel a bit more secure and comforted during the noisy fireworks celebrations.
3. Close Curtains
Fireworks displays are visibly distressing for many animals. Statistics taken by the RSPCA report that 62% of dogs and 54% of cats show distress during fireworks. Ensure you close your curtains and shut your blinds in the evenings as cats and dogs can become easily frightened and confused during the bright flashing light shows that illuminate our night skies. Another tip this fireworks season, is to keep the lights on in your house as this will decrease the glare and flashes from the fireworks that can still creep through any gaps in your curtains or blinds.
4. Earlier Dinner Times
During the fireworks season, consider feeding your pet their evening meal slightly earlier than usual. It is recommended that you feed your pet before the fireworks are typically due to begin as a frightened cat or dog will instantly lose interest in their meal if they are disturbed by any sudden loud noises or flashing lights.
5. Comfort your Companion
It goes without saying that you should comfort your cat and dog throughout the fireworks season and give them lots of TLC – even more so than usual! Many owners comfort their cats and dogs by stroking them as this can bring comfort to both owner and pet. Scientifically, it has been proven that stroking your cat or dog can help lower your heart rate and stimulate the secretion of oxytocin – the very hormone that is produced when a mother cuddles and nurtures her baby. However, not all cats and dogs prefer being stroked and picked up, so always respect your pet’s boundaries.
We hope you found our five tips helpful for keeping your pets calm and safe this fireworks season. If you want to spend this November daylight enjoying our fifteen-acre secure dog parks, then please book your dog walk today!