The Christmas and New Year period often contributes to an unsettling time for our pets, with revellers letting off fireworks as part of their celebrations.
However, our head veterinary nurse Sarah Wagstaff says there are plenty of steps you can take to keep your pet calm and safe.
“There are a lot of things pet owners can do to help their animals stay calm when fireworks and loud bangs are going off.
“Distracting them with active play is always good, as is calm, soothing music.
“However, my top recommendation for owners is to remain calm. While it may be tempting to comfort a spooked cat or dog, this can actually be counter-productive.
“Both ‘mollycoddling’ and punishing a frightened pet could reinforce negative behaviour. If owners appear to be unaffected, pets will follow this example.”
Here’s a list of our top tips to help keep your pets calm during fireworks:
- Always keep cats and dogs inside when fireworks are let off.
- Close all windows and doors, draw curtains and seal up cat flaps.
- Let your pet pace around, whine, mew and hide if they want to. Don’t try to coax them out – they are trying to find safety and should not be disturbed.
- Hutches and cages should, if possible, be taken into a quiet room indoors or into a garage or shed.
- Give your small pet extra bedding to burrow into so it feels safe.