Are your pets ready for Bonfire Night?

Bonfire Night is a fun occasion for us humans, who could resist the sparkling fireworks, warm fires and tasty treats? But for many pets it’s terrifying! The loud noises and sudden flashes of light can become quite stressful and scary for your fury friends.

Here’s 10 top tips to make sure your pet is Bonfire Night ready:

1) Become an early bird – Walking your dog in daylight hours or bringing your cat in early will help prevent major scares. Try to make sure someone is home and your pets aren’t left alone while you enjoy the festivities.

2) Stay indoors – Where possible gradually bring pets kept outside indoors or to a more sheltered area. Whether indoors or out additional bedding, shelter and toys may be appreciated by your pet at this time of year.

3) Keep your windows and curtains closed – Doing this will help block out the loud noises and potentially frightening flashes of light!

4) Put a radio on – Classic FM will host a special programme to help keep pets calm and relaxed during the festivities however any music or TV will help drown out the noise.

5) Give them something new – A new toy or task can help keep your pets occupied and distract them from what’s going on outside! As well as being a distraction technique interactive toys such as KONG can provide hours of fun and mental stimulation for your pet.

6) Provide a safe haven or hiding place – Placing additional bedding and toys in an area your pet can retreat to can create a safe haven allowing dogs in particular to feel in control during the fireworks. Cats may also appreciate hiding places around the home.

7) Make sure your pet is microchipped – This is important at any time of year but cats especially who are unaware of the planned event can stay outdoors longer than expected and become spooked, causing them to go missing. Should this happen your pet will be easier to find or return home.

8) Stay calm and enjoy the evening! – Many pets can sense when you are nervous, stressed or frightened, try to stay calm! You should never shout at a dog for barking at the fireworks this will only make matters worse, try to distract them from the trigger that’s making them bark. You should also avoid making too much fuss, try to treat it just as any other evening.

9) Try some calming products? – For your pet that is! Calming products can range from vests and collars to crates, chews and scent diffusers. All these products help in different ways! Anxiety jackets for example stimulate the nervous system and can help to slow the heart rate, while diffusers can release synthetic pheromones that mimic the scent of other cats or dogs to reassure your pet.

10) Preparation is key! – If you know you dog is anxious being prepared and trying a range of techniques will really help them get through the evening! But fear not if none of these tips work for you speak to your vet they will be able to offer additional advice and potentially some prescription medication.

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