8 Tips for Fireworks Fear

Fireworks can cause huge anxiety many dogs and cats, with many loving owners left feeling helpless. As Halloween and Bonfire Night approaches, Eilidh Wilson, Education Officer at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, has compiled our top tips for the season.

1. Walk Your Dog Early

Walk dogs earlier in the day and ensure all pets are safely inside before fireworks begin. If dogs do need to go out ensure they have a secure collar and lead and don’t go far from home.

2. Early Dinner

Feed pets before fireworks begin. Often when worried, animals may refuse food.

3. A Safe Space

Create a safe hiding space or den. Close the curtains, turn the lights on to make flashes less obvious. Turn on tv or radio loudly to drown out bangs.

4. Collars and Microchipping

Make sure all pets have a secure collar with an up to date ID tag. Microchipping ensures your pet is able to be easily traced back to you if they were to become lost.

5. Doors and Windows Closed

Keep doors and windows closed. if you do need to open them for any reason, make sure your pet doesn’t try to escape through fear, perhaps by shutting an inside door to secure them in another room first.

6. Stay Cool

Be relaxed and calm. Being a positive role model can help pets realise there is nothing to fear. Never punish pets for being afraid, this can often intensify the fear.

7. Don’t Leave Pets Alone

Don’t leave your pet alone if fireworks are being set off. Fearful animals can become desperate trying to escape and hurt themselves. If your pet comes to you for comfort do not ignore them, instead interact calmly and offer gentle reassurance.

8. Games and Rewards

Keep pets busy indoors. Play games or try out some reward based training to act as a distraction. However, do not force your pet to do anything if they do want to hide away.

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