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I adore Autumn and everything about it. Including bonfire night and fireworks. I’ve always had such a fascination for fireworks and that time around bonfire night has always been one of my favourite times of year. To me, it signifies a time to get together with family or friends, let go of the year so far and just enjoy each others company whilst watching the magic that fireworks bring to the sky. But of course, for pets, this time of year can be hugely detrimental.
I’m actually VERY lucky in that my dog has absolutely no reaction to fireworks whatsoever. He’s completely un-phased. In fact, the first year we got him, he came outside to watch the fireworks with us! Which I know is not the norm and far from the experience most people have with their pets when it comes to firework night.
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One year, we had to look after my aunts dog (who’s sadly passed away now) for a week whilst my aunt and uncle were on holiday. During that week, we had a DREADFUL storm. Some of the worst thunder and lightening I’ve ever heard myself and this dog was absolutely terrified. I’ve never seen a dog so scared of something in my life.
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She was shaking uncontrollably. Wouldn’t let me near her. And would crawl into the smallest spaces around our house that she could find to try and get away from the noise which obviously wasn’t safe for her to do so. So although in that situation, it wasn’t fireworks that were the problem but it’s an example of how sudden change can have such a dramatic impact on pets.
So today we’re going to look at some ways that you can help and support your pet during what might be a very traumatic period of time for them:
Don’t walk your dog when fireworks are likely to go off
Bit of an obvious one to start with but still worth mentioning nonetheless. During firework season, if possible, try and take your dog for a walk during a calm time of the day – like fairly early in the morning. If you have other pets that require outdoor time, make sure it’s early and they’re inside before 5pm.
Consider natural calming remedies
A natural calming spray for dogs might be a great addition to the care your give your four legged friend during this stressful time. Broadreach Nature provide plenty of products to aid your dog (or cat!) in relaxation including sprays, soft chews and capsules. Each product is a special blend of fragrance extracts to simulate canine pheromones and help provide a feeling of reassurance.
Create a safe haven for them at home
Just like us humans need a safe environment to go to when we’re stressed or sad, pets can benefit from that too. So create a little corner of the house filled with cosy blankets, their favourite toys, a spritz of the relaxing room spray and a few treats so they know this space is filled with their favourite things.
Keep the TV or a radio on to help mask the sound of the fireworks
You’re never going to drown out the sound of fireworks entirely. In case you haven’t heard a firework before – THEY’RE LOUD. But having additional noise on will at least help mask the sound. The TV and the radio are good options because they’re noises that your pet is already familiar with.
Keep your blinds and curtains closed
The noise from fireworks isn’t the only thing that will alarm your pet. The bright lights can also be daunting too. So a simple solution for this is the keep your blinds and curtains closed – preferably before the fireworks begin. For something extra, you might want to invest in blackout blinds too.
Allow your pet free reign of the house
For safety reasons, you won’t want to lock your pet in one room as they might hurt themselves trying to get out and it’s only going to make them more anxious and agitated. So try to allow them as much of the house as possible but make sure the front and back doors are securely locked. The last thing you want is a scared pet bolting and putting themselves in danger.
Don’t react to fireworks yourself
Our pets are sensitive to our own reactions and feelings. I know with my own dog that if I jump at something, he’ll likely bark too. So during firework season, try and ensure your pet doesn’t see you reacting to the fireworks. Of course this won’t work with all animals but it’s always worth a try.
Get help from your vet if it progresses
And finally, if it’s REALLY bad and you’ve done everything in your power to try and calm your pet during firework season and nothing is working take them straight to the vet. It won’t be anything your vet hasn’t seen before and they may be able to prescribe something to take the edge off.
How do you comfort your pet during firework season? Do you have anything to add to this list?