Did you know that over 60% of the UK's pets are scared of fireworks? Fireworks cause high levels of anxiety in our pets because of their loud bangs, bright lights, and the unfamiliar smells they give off.
As firework season is rapidly approaching, we've put together some top tips to help keep your pet as comfortable and happy as possible during this stressful time!
Signs that your dog is scared of fireworks
It is extremely common for your dog’s behaviour to change when they are scared or feeling uneasy. Here are some common behaviours your dog might exhibit if they're scared of fireworks:
- Shaking or trembling
- Excessive panting or licking
- Restlessness or pacing
- Hiding or trying to escape
- Ears pinned pack
- Whining or parking
- Tucking their tail
Signs that your cat is scared of fireworks
Much like dogs, cat’s ears are highly sensitive, which means that fireworks sound even louder to cats than they do to humans. These frequent loud bangs can induce fear, stress and anxiety in your cat which will often cause them to flee and hide. Other behaviours include:
- Shaking or trembling
- Excessive licking
- Hiding and/or trying To escape
- Loud meowing
- Going to the toilet in the house instead of their litter box
- Flattened ears
- Dilated eyes
- Crouching / making themselves small
- Aggressive behaviour e.g., hissing and scratching
- Wrapping their tail around their body
Top tips to help calm your pet
As pet owners, it is our responsibility to keep our four-legged friends feeling safe and loved. Here are some methods you can put in place to help reduce their anxiety and stress.
1. Create a ‘safe space’
Use blankets, pillows, and their favourite toys, either in their crate or around your house to create a peaceful environment for your pet to relax in. It is important to allow your pet to pick their favourite space as they are all unique and have their own preferences.
2. Close the curtains
Closing your curtains can block the scary bright lights and reduce the impact from the loud sounds. Don’t forget to close windows and both internal and external doors which will also help to keep your pet feeling safe indoors.
3. Have background noise
Turning the TV or radio up a little bit more than usual can help to mask the loud whizzing and bangs that startle your pet. This is a great excuse to have a cosy night in with your pet to watch a film with your favourite snacks.
4. Schedule meals and treats during the display
Scheduling their dinner time to coincide with the firework display can be a great distraction and provide an element of comfort. Long lasting treats, such as Yak Chews or Antlers are also great to keep them your pet entertained with a chewy challenge, whilst benefitting their dental health.
5. Keep your pets inside
Fireworks can startle our pets and trigger their fight or flight response. Ensure that your pet’s tags and microchips are up to date, and be careful when opening doors as they may attempt to run away when spooked by the fireworks. A top tip for cat owners is to lock cat flaps and make sure they are inside before it starts to get dark. For outdoor pets such as Rabbits and Guinea Pigs, you may consider bringing them inside, covering the hutch with a blanket or giving them extra bedding to burrow in. Exercising your pet throughout the day can tire them out and can allow them to sleep through the display.
6. Use calming supplements
Calming Supplements such as our Calming Drops can help to relax your pet in as quick as 20 minutes! Our drops contain Valerian which is a powerful herb which is helpful in situations of stress & anxiety. The second key ingredient; Magnesium has long-term calming effects, which makes it great as a daily supplement to produce an overall calming effect in our animals. You could add these to your pet’s food in advance. Our Functional Calming Treats can also be great to use, either on their own, or in conjunction with the calming drops. These are a fun way to support your pet during this time. If you have a pet prone to stress and anxiety, we recommend using a Daily Calming Supplement as part of their regular diet to help keep them feeling calm and relaxed at all times.
7. Lots of cuddles and attention
Last, but certainly not least, give your companions lots of love and attention. Your pet will look to you to feel safe. Cuddles will help them to feel at home and forget about what is going on outside. Not only this, it can be useful to supervise your pet if they display destructive behaviour in response to fear.
Make sure you come back and visit our Blog & Advice Hub regularly for more helpful advice on how to help keep your pet feeling healthy from the inside out