Pets during Firework Season
Halloween can be a very difficult and frightening time for some pets.
Each pet will express their fear or distress differently. Some will cry, whine, pace, pant, drool, shake, put their tail between their legs and some may drink more water than usual.
There are some things that you can do around this time that may help.
Things that may help
Firstly, make sure that your pet is microchipped and that the contact details attached to the chip are up to date. This way, in a worst-case scenario, if your pet runs away the microchip will allow them to be traced back to you.
If Halloween is a particularly stressful time for your pet it can be a good idea to contact a qualified behaviouralist. A qualified behaviouralist will be able to work one on one with your pet and you. This means you can get advice specific to your pet. It is important to note that this is something that should be done several months before Halloween as one or two sessions just before Halloween will not be enough to have your pet firework ready.
Being home with your pet at this time can help. Close curtains so flashing lights won’t be visible. Close all windows and doors to keep the sound as muffled as possible. Don’t allow your cat to go outdoors particularly on Halloween night and the nights directly either side. If you have a cat flap block this off so your cat can’t go out. If your dog normally sleeps outdoors bring your dog indoors during this time. Take your dog for a walk as early as possible in the evening before the fireworks start. You can turn on the television to a normal volume if your pet is used to the noise of the television. This can help block out the noise of the fireworks.
Having a safe space or a den is something that helps some pets. A space under a bed, behind a sofa or even their own crate might be your pet’s safe space. Putting one of their toys into this safe space along with an old jumper of yours or some of your clothing can also help. This will give your pet some familiar smells and can keep them calm. If your pet has settled in a safe space, try not to disturb them. If on the other hand your pet is looking for you to give them pets and rubs then do this. Each dog is different and will have a different way of dealing with stress.
There are products available for cats and dogs which can help relax your pet. Some of these need to be started in advance of the Halloween season. Contact your veterinary clinic and they will be able to advise you on the products they stock and what may help your pet.
Remember your pet is very sensitive to how you are feeling. If you are stressed at this time this will increase the stress levels of your pet. Try to stay relaxed yourself over the Halloween period!