Firework season is upon us once again. The next two weeks while fun for most humans can be sheer terror for a lot of animals.
What can we do to try and reduce the stress for our domestic pets?
The most important consideration is to keep the animals inside, this will help muffle the sound a bit and also provide them with a reassuring environment. Shut all the doors and curtains to soundproof the house as much as possible and if the pets are used to the sound of the TV or radio put this on slightly louder than usual to try and mask the bangs. It could be a good excuse to do your laundry as most washing machines tend to make rather a racket.
Let the animals try and hide, do not under any circumstances try and coax them out of a hiding place, if they find one encourage them to stay in it. Similarly pampering and comforting your pet under these circumstances will only make matters worse as they will think you are worried too. And obviously do not get aggressive with your pet at this time, the whimpering and clinginess may drive you mad, but shouting at them will only increase the problem. While you probably want to go out and watch the fireworks yourself do consider that your pet will be even more anxious if you are not around. Maybe you could sacrifice watching, or take turns with a family member or neighbour.
For smaller pets such as rabbits, hamsters and birds, once again keep them inside during this period and provide them with extra bedding to burrow into. Try and cover their cages with blankets as it will reduce the sounds and flashes as well as providing a hiding place.
It would be wise to have your dog micro chipped or at least tagged so that if they do happen to get out and run away they will be easily traced back to you.
There are also appeasing pheromone treatments available, Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats. Last but not least there is a CD called Sounds Scary CD by Soundtherapy4pets. I do not know if you listen to this for tips on how to work with the animal, or whether you get them to listen to it, or could it be some form of joint therapy?
Good luck and keep your animals safe.