While fireworks are generally enjoyed by humans all over the world, they can cause fear and anxiety in our pets. The loud bangs and bright flashing lights have unfortunately been the cause of many pet accidents.
Have you ever had a room in your home destroyed by a fear-ridden pet, or had your dog running away in sheer fright during a New Year’s Eve fireworks display? This time of year can be tough for our furry companions! There are often many changes to their daily routines, which is upsetting enough, but adding sudden loud noises to the mix can make them react in unexpected and harmful ways. As a pet owner, it’s up to you to ensure that your dog or cat is safe during Christmas and New Year festivities, including fireworks. So we’ve put together a list of ways you can help your canine or feline friend overcome their fear and get through the next few weeks.
There is a way to desensitise your dog or cat to loud noises so they do not associate fireworks displays or events such as thunderstorms with fear. However, it does take a certain level of perseverance and commitment. Playing recordings of fireworks or thunderstorms while you carry out normal activities with your pet may help them adjust to the noises. Find a fireworks video on YouTube and play this a couple of times a week for a month leading up to the planned display. Each time you put it on, gradually increase the volume but continue to perform normal tasks with your pet, such as feeding, playing, grooming or relaxing. This technique will work with some pets, allowing them to become desensitized to the sound. They’ll begin to recognise it as an ordinary sound that has nothing to be concerned about. If you have persevered with the process but it doesn’t seem to work, check out our blog on what else you can do to help keep them calm during the fireworks display.
Don’t leave them alone
If you’re planning on celebrating the New Year away from home and know that your pet gets anxious when they hear fireworks, make sure you leave them in the care of someone you trust. Look up when fireworks displays are going to be on in your local area and organise for a friend or relative to keep an eye on your pet while you are out. Frightened and unsupervised pets can cause a lot of destruction to your property, they can escape from your home and they might develop long-term anxiety. It’s not fair on your furry friends to leave them alone during this time! Remember that if you live around Brisbane, you can bring your cat or dog out to Samford Pet Resort to stay while you are busy with festive celebrations. Our team of trained pet experts are well-equipped to calm anxious animals and provide a safe space during fireworks displays.
Create a special haven
If you’re going to be home during the New Year’s fireworks, take a little time to make a safe and comfortable spot for your pet in your home. Put their bed in a room with fewer windows, along with a couple of their favourite toys. Filling a toy with yummy treats is always a good idea, as it will give them something else to concentrate on while the fireworks are going on. Try putting the TV on loud or play some music to drown out the sound. Most of all, make sure you act normal and try not to get upset if your cat or dog appears anxious or distressed. Your pet can pick up on your emotions and they need to know that there’s nothing for them to worry about.
Consider seeking medical assistance to ease anxiety
Some animals will, unfortunately, become inconsolable when they hear fireworks. If your dog or cat gets so agitated and anxious that you are afraid they may be a danger to themselves or others during fireworks, it may be a good idea to ask your vet about low dose sedatives. Synthetic pheromones such as Adaptil for Dogs and Feliway for Cats are another alternative that can help calm nerves and ease tension.
Most importantly, ensure that your pet is secured to prevent them from becoming scared and bolting. Just be careful not to tie them up, as they can hurt themselves if they panic.
Samford Pet Resort provides luxury five-star accommodation for Brisbane pet owners’ cats and dogs. Contact us today to book your pet in to stay with us! Do you live over the northside of Brisbane? Check out our sister pet resort, Northshore Pet Resort.