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Fireworks are fun for us, but not for some dogs and cats. Here are some useful tips to help your four-legged friends feel safe during firework displays.

Helping your pets cope with loud noises

Many animals have better hearing than people do, including cats and dogs, but this can make fireworks even scarier for them. (Click here to find out more about your dog’s super hearing!) When pets feel scared or stressed, they may do silly things like try to run away from the noise, potentially putting their safety at risk. If you know your pet is frightened by fireworks or may have never heard them before, there a plenty of things you can do to help them feel calm, safe, and secure.

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fireworks: a word from our vets 

Dr Ben, one of vets at the Worldwide Veterinary Service, is here to tell you how you can help prevent your pet from feeling scared during firework displays.

how to be prepared

  • Secure your home. Make sure there’s no way for your pet to escape your house or garden should they get scared. 

  • Walk them early. Fireworks are popular on certain days of the year, such as New Year’s Eve and Bonfire Night. If you have a dog, it is best to walk them before nightfall on these days, well before the fireworks begin.

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  • Feed them beforehand. Give your pet its food before the fireworks start and it gets too noisy. If they get frightened and stressed by the noise, they will not want to eat

  • Create a safe place. Make an area or den for your pet that is comfortable and appears safe; you can even make a few! Dogs will often want to hide or be in a space that makes them feel secure or in control. This could be a bed, kennel, or you could help build them a doggy den. For a cat, it could be a box with blankets to make it cosy, and for small pets, like hamsters, you can cover part of their enclosure so they can hide and give them extra bedding to burrow into. Be sure to get them settled before the fireworks start. 

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what to do during fireworks

  • Stay at home with them. Try to be close by when the fireworks start, so if they start to feel scared, you are there to help them feel calm and relaxed.

  • Let them hide. If your pet retreats to its safe place, then leave them in peace, and don’t force them to come out if they don’t want to.

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  • Stay calm. Your pet can tell when you are anxious, so try to be as quiet as possible to help them feel calm too.

  • Distraction: You can help by closing windows and curtains, turning the lights on, and switching on the TV to distract them from the fireworks. 

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