Vet explains how to keep your dogs and cats calm during firework displays

It’s that time of year again where random fireworks go off all around the country at random times.

Public firework displays for Bonfire Night 2020 have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But that hasn’t stopped people setting off fireworks in their own gardens or driveways, up and down the country.

Many of us might be looking forward to seeing some beautiful displays in the sky.

But Bonfire Night can be incredibly traumatic for pets, with sudden loud noises, startling bangs and frightening flashes.

The resident vet of award-winning pet food producer Lily’s Kitchen, Rodney Zasman, has shared his top tips on how to keep pets safe and calm during firework displays.

How to keep pets safe during Bonfire Night

Build a den

Rodney recommends building a warm and cosy space filled with your pet’s favourite toys, chews and snacks so they have somewhere to hide.

If your dog or cat is especially nervous you can try to plug a pheromone diffuser into the same room to help calm the nerves.

Break the routine

Lily’s Kitchen would usually recommend keeping pets to a regular schedule.

However, for Bonfire Night cats and dogs should be fed early.

And you should also consider taking your dog out for a walk while it’s still bright, before the loud bangs begin.

Stay inside

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Keep your cats and dogs inside for the evening, and keep all doors and windows closed.

You can also close the curtains, turn on the lights and play some soothing music to drown out the noise.

Personalise your pet’s collar

Rodney says this is a great chance to jazz up your pet’s collar or get them a shiny new engaged one.

Also make sure your pet is microchipped so you know where they are if loud bangs scare them away.

Introduce them to the big bangs


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It could be a good idea to introduce your pets to fireworks before the big day so they know there is nothing to worry about.

Show them some firework displays on YouTube so they can used to the loud noise.

Relax

If you stay relaxed, there is a bigger chance your pet will too.

Play with them if they come to you, or leave them to hide in their den if they prefer.

Rodney says to never tell them off if they are whining, barking or meowing as this may increase their stress.

Take a chill pill (for extreme anxiety only)

If your cat or dog is extremely anxious no matter what you do, you can opt for a pill.

But this should be as a last resort, and your vet will be able to prescribe it.

Lily’s Kitchen is also urging people to only light fireworks between 7-8pm to limit the stress for pets.

The pet food producer has launched a petition, which you can sign here.

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