It’s almost that time of year again!
Now is the time when people are thinking about Hallowe’en, bonfire night, religious festivals – and fireworks!
It’s a fun time of year, but my owner Jemma is thinking about how she can help me through it. You see, I really don’t like the loud whooshing and banging noises fireworks make! Luckily we don’t live near any big public displays, so it’s our neighbours’ garden fireworks that affect us most…
Many animals are frightened by fireworks, but don’t worry, there are things you and your family can do to make firework season easier for your dogs, cats, rabbits or guinea pigs.
At home, Jemma always makes sure I have a safe place to go if I want to hide. This could be under some furniture – or even in a cupboard! If you do this, don’t try and tempt your pet out as this could make them feel more worried.
During firework season, Jemma walks me when it’s light and keeps me indoors when fireworks are likely to go off.
Make sure we can’t escape out of the house if there’s a sudden noise. Ask your grown-ups if your pets are microchipped – that way they could be returned to you if they do go missing.
Plan of action
When it gets dark, Jemma closes the windows and curtains and puts on music to hide the pops and bangs – this works for me!
It’s fine to comfort us if it helps us relax, but leave us in peace if we seem to prefer it. And never tell us off, as that could make us more scared.
If you have a dog, you could make a blacked-out ‘doggy play area’, with toys and other things they like. Before the fireworks begin, go with them to the play area (making sure there are things there for you to do too!). Ignore the firework noises yourself and play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in (but don’t force them to if they don’t want to). I love having somewhere safe and fun to go!
If you have pets that live outside, like rabbits or guinea pigs, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well soundproofed. Make sure your pet is still able to look out and give them lots of extra bedding so they have something to burrow in.
Khaleesi’s top tip:
It’s never too early to start preparing – if your pet gets stressed by fireworks like me, why not ask your grown-ups to talk to the vet about how you can help your pet learn to be less afraid of fireworks? They might recommend products called pheromone diffusers – these spread chemicals into the room that calm animals – or a CD therapy pack.