Halloween and Bonfire Night can be exciting for humans – but the celebrations that coincide with this time of year can be particularly stressful for pets.
In fact, the loud bangs and bright flashes that come with fireworks frighten an estimated 45 per cent of dogs in the UK, the RSPCA claims.
The reason that fireworks are particularly terrifying for dogs is because they can hear four times the distance of a human and can hear higher pitched sounds, at a frequency range of 67-45,000 Hz
So, whether you’re going out to watch a firework display with family and friends or staying at home, it’s important to make sure your pets are well looked after.
Of course, it can be hard to know exactly what to do to make your animals feel safe.
Luckily, the RSPCA says that there are lots of simple things you can do to help your pets deal with fireworks and the earlier you prepare, the better they will be able to cope with the noises.
Before the fireworks start, you might want to consider talking to your vet about pheromone diffusers. These disperse calming chemicals into the room and may be a good option to help keep your dog relaxed.
If your dog is particularly anxious around loud noises in general, it might also be worth looking into behavioural therapy.
The organisation suggests keeping your dog at ease by:
- Walking them during daylight hours to avoid times when fireworks are likely to be set off
- Closing windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks
- Putting on some music or tv to mask the firework sounds
- Creating a quiet space where your dog can feel in control
- Creating some hiding places around your home
If you are still concerned, all-natural dog food company, Edgard & Cooper, is launching a live chat service that will run from 6pm to 11.30pm on Bonfire Night.
During that time, experts will be on hand to offer pet owners free advice on how to keep their dog calm and limit anxiety.
Similarly cat owners should make sure that their pets have somewhere to hide if they want to such as a quiet corner or under some furniture. It’s also important not to try and tempt your cat out as this will cause them to become more stressed.
You should also make sure your cat is microchipped and kept in a safe and secure environment so they can’t escape if they’re suddenly startled by a loud noise.
If your pets live outside, you can partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is sound-proofed. Just make sure that they are still able to look out.
In addition, you should provide lots of extra bedding for smaller pets to burrow in and consider bringing outdoor animals indoors. This should be done gradually, so you will need to plan ahead.
If you have a horse out in a field you should check to see if there are going to be any fireworks displays in your area that may affect them.
If so, tell the organisers that horses are nearby and ask them to reconsider the location of their display.